After President Donald Trump placed tariffs on imported Chinese products, the Chinese retaliated by raising tariffs on U.S. exports to China. That includes an increase of the tariff on pecans from 7 percent to 47 percent. On Tuesday, the White House announced $12 billion in aid to farmers impacted by the trade war. The tariff increase has little immediate impact because pecans aren’t being exported this time of year, but it could mean a lot once the harvest begins in the fall and growers are looking to sell their pecans. China is especially important to local growers because the Chinese love Georgia’s big, meaty pecans. Pearson Farm in Fort Valley has about 3,000 acres of pecan trees, and about 60 percent of the crop is exported to China, said Lawton Pearson, a partner in the business. Currently pecans are the only crop in the state significantly impacted by the trade war, said Julie McPeake, communications director for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. China also put a 25 percent tariff on soybeans, a big Georgia crop, but McPeake said that shouldn’t impact Georgia farmers. Although China is a big buyer of U.S. soybeans, McPeake said most of Georgia’s soybeans go toward making feed for the state’s large poultry industry.
July 27, 2018