NC farmers could feel effects of tariffs if China implements them

LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Farmer Carroll Mitchem is looking forward to a good growing season in Lincoln County this year.

Mitchem plans, among other crops, to plant over 400 acres of soybeans. That is despite the fact that China says it will impose at 25% tariff on soybeans from the United States.

The Chinese tariffs are in response to tariffs imposed by the United States on some products from China. None of the tariffs have taken effect yet. It could be many months before that happens.

Overnight, commodity prices for soybeans dropped 42 cents a bushel, in part, because of the tariff threat. That's significant, say experts, and could affect farmer profits.

In North Carolina, most soybeans from last year's crop have already been sold. Farmers are concerned, though, that this year's crop could be affected. Mitchem says it is too early to tell if there will be a problem. He thinks because soybeans are traded on the global market that if China shops elsewhere for soybeans, there will still be markets for the U.S. product.

"If they buy the soybeans from Brazil, then those who Brazil was going to sell to before will still be looking for soybeans," he said.

Mitchem, who was a strong supporter of President Trump during the 2016 campaign, says he still stands behind the president.

"I will still support him as long as he doesn't get too carried away," he explained.

Mitchem does not think that the president's dealings on trade have reached that level.

Given the fact that soybeans from the Carolinas, for the most part, won't go to market until fall, he thinks there is ample time for China and the U.S. to make a new trade deal.

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