Farmers across the State of Tennessee woke up to a new economic reality on Friday morning, multi-billion dollar Chinese tariffs that will likely cripple farmers already on the brink of collapse.
For Will Hutchinson, a lifelong farmer in Rutherford County, the tariffs couldn’t have come at a less opportune time. His 70 acres of soybeans are already in the ground.
He estimates the impact of the $34 billion tariff on imported U.S. goods to China, including soybeans, will cost him more than $20,000 this growing season.
“There is no doubt we will lose more farmers because of this” - Tennessee soybean farmer Will Hutchinson talking about the devastating effect Chinese tariffs will have on his livelihood pic.twitter.com/DFvW268PlP
— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) July 6, 2018
“I have to be honest with you, patience among farmers is getting really short. Things were already tight to start with this year,” the 29-year-old said standing in a field of soybeans.
The Chinese tariffs came as retaliation against the U.S. after President Trump’s administration levied a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports that enter the country.
Caught in the middle of this political standoff are farmers like Will Hutchinson, who were already facing a steep decline in the price he gets paid for his soybeans.
“I’m not sure the people in Washington have a full understanding of what their decisions are doing to us. We need them to come to terms and think about how this is affecting people in the homeland,” he said.
Will is also concerned that the tariffs will be the nail in the coffin for farmers already struggling to get by.
“We will lose more farmers because of this.”