It has been a full six months since China retaliated against President Trump’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. That tariff, which took effect July 6, 2018, has rocked the foundation of a decades-old trade relationship U.S. soybean farmers built with China, the largest market for American beans. And, it has resulted in halted sales, plummeting crop prices, and a lack of security for farmers seeking funding for the 2019 season.Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Clinton, Ky., and American Soybean Association (ASA) president stated, “We are anxious to see real progress to end this trade war quickly. With Ambassador Gregg Doud of the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Under Secretary Ted McKinney of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) among the delegation in China to discuss trade today, we are hopeful that real progress is forthcoming.” Stephens continued, “This has been a long and costly half year for farmers, and we need stability returned to this market. We cannot withstand another six months.”The value of U.S. soybean exports to China has grown 26-fold in 10 years, from $414 million in 1996 to $14 billion in 2017. China imported 31 percent of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60 percent of total U.S exports and nearly one in every three rows of harvested beans. Over the next 10 years, Chinese demand for soybeans is expected to account for most of the growth in global soybean trade, making it a prime market for the U.S. and other countries.U.S. soybean growers have realized a nearly 20 percent drop in soy prices since the threat of tariffs began last summer, and the future of soy growers’ relationship with China continues to be in jeopardy. China has pursued new means to procure soybeans and other protein crops, including maximizing soybean imports from other exporting countries, particularly Brazil.Growers have taken to Twitter and other social platforms today with the hashtag #185DaysStillNeedTrade, along with the popular #RescindtheTariffs hashtag to continue demanding that the Administration bring an end to its lingering trade war with China and help restore certainty and stability to the soy industry.
The village declared a water emergency on Tuesday. But Evans said if there’s no significant rainfall this week, they could be completely dry by this weekend. Nanwalek (Photo by Daysha Eaton, KBBI) The village has tried to conserve. Water has been shut off at night. Chugachmiut, a regional non-profit, and the North Pacific Rim Housing Authority donated roughly 200 cases of water last week. It’s not the first time Nanwalek has had to ration water. In 2003, the state barged in bottled supplies. Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said it is closely monitoring the situation. But the agency was noncommittal about what it plans to do if the village of 250-odd people indeed runs dry. “It’s mainly making everybody kind of worried and scared,” she said. “He found a stream so he walked up the mountain and rerouted the stream to the dam, and that’s drying up now,” she said. The predominantly Alutiiq village on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula is only accessible by air and water. Priscilla Evans said the roughly 55 households are getting desperate as the village’s reservoir is poised to run out. Evans said a fellow member of the village’s tribal council went looking for an alternative source. The state has issued a boil water notice. Jamie Bjorkman is with the Department of Environmental Conservation in Soldotna. “Even the bottled water has been depleted,” she said. “So we do have elders that depend on water with their health issues. And then we have newborn babies here, so we were in need of water very much.” Tribal Administrator Gwen Kvasnikoff said water pressure has been steadily dropping. So far no one has reported getting ill from the alternative sources or low pressure. But she warned that the village is on borrowed time as supplies run low. “I get involved when the water may not be adequately treated,” she said. “Knowing that they were having low levels in their water storage tanks means that the water treatment plant and the treatment that they provide to the water may not be a completed process.” “We never made a plan for this kind of emergency for the water,” she said. “So hopefully the state is going to help us out.” A Kenai Peninsula village is rapidly running out of water. Low snowpack and little rainfall has led Nanwalek to declare a water emergency.