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Thune, Rounds urge Trump to mend soybean trade with China ahead of Jinping meeting

WASHINGTON -- Republican U.S. Senators for South Dakota John Thune and Mike Rounds wrote a joint letter Thursday, Nov. 30, urging President Donald Trump to restore the United States' soybean exports to China ahead of Trump's upcoming meeting with China's President Xi Jinping.

In addition to several other industries, an ongoing tariff war between the two nations has hit South Dakota farmers particularly hard.

According to a news release from the senators, nearly two-thirds of South Dakota's soybean yield is typically exported to China but this year, "U.S. soybean exports to China have nearly ground to a halt."

“We appreciate your efforts to address China’s unfair trade practices, but our soybean producers cannot continue to bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs, especially considering the current weak agricultural economy,” the senators wrote in their joint letter.

The senators added that since China began imposing retaliatory tariffs on American soybeans in July, it has gone to other global competitors to fulfill its soybean import needs.

"If the United States continues to lose this critical market, there is a diminishing chance it will be fully regained, which will result in long-term reduced soybean prices for U.S. producers," the senators wrote.

South Dakota farmers expect total yield of 275 million bushels of soybeans from the state alone this year.

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