Last week, the Chinese Government Sponsored Newspaper China Daily took out a four-page insert in the Des Moines Register criticizing the Donald J Trump tariffs on commodities, particularly soybeans and attempted to bring the issue directly to Iowa farmers. The Des Moines Register is the statewide paper of Iowa as the Star Tribune is here in Minnesota and it covers many of the issues important in the Hawkeye State. Information we have about Iowans is they are very parochial and not likely to accept information from an outside source even if it is accurate.
The advertisement didn’t go unnoticed and it seems to have become the crux of Trump’s argument for the Chinese tampering with the 2018 elections. Additional during his comments at the United Nations, where he first broached the issue, Trump also claimed soybean prices are rebounding after the initial fall. We have looked and soybeans may have moved up slightly, but the price is not back to where it was prior to the discussion over tariffs commenced.
There may be an end around.
We understand the tariff on soybeans is only on the raw produce, but not on processed beans. In this article from AGWeb there is a discussion of the sale of crushed Soybeans being shipped to Chine via Argentina via a grey market. https://www.agweb.com/article/tariff-loophole-how-us-soybeans-might-be-getting-to-china/
The question is what impact the soybean tariffs is having here in Minnesota. Minnesota is the is the 3rd largest producer of soybeans as shown here https://www.statista.com/statistics/192076/top-10-soybean-producing-us-states/, behind Illinois and Iowa.
If rural Minnesota voters supported Trump in the 2016 election, as we know many did, we wonder if the institution of tariffs on soybeans and other commodities produced here will unsettle this support.
When Trump comes to Rochester later in the week for Congressional Candidate Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) we will hear whether the enthusiasm for Trump remains or his luster is showing signs of tarnish.