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These activist farmers know they face overwhelming odds; China had traditionally purchased 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports, and building new trade relationships can take years. “If we can get buyers to step away from the politics and see us as people, we can get them to trust us – even if they can’t trust Washington,” said Doug Schroeder, a fifth-generation farmer in Bellflower, Illinois cufflinks brands uk sale. “If we can do that, they will want to buy from us again when the trade war ends.”..
“As long as we’re still in business, of course.”. As tensions with China escalated, Schroeder, 57, reached out to neighbors and fellow farmers at the state soybean association, offering to host overseas buyers. “I’d do anything to get them back,” Schroeder said. In mid-September, some 20 Chinese buyers arrived at his farm in a bus, a visit set up through the U.S cufflinks brands uk sale. Soybean Export Council, an industry group. Schroeder’s 89-year-old mother baked them chocolate chip cookies..
When they arrived, adding a new stop to their annual tour of the U.S. Midwest to survey soybean fields, their response was polite, but awkward. “We value your business,” Schroeder told them repeatedly. The visitors said nothing, looking at the ground. They declined the cookies. “This isn’t going to work,” Schroeder recalled thinking at the time. A pile-up of farm work made Duane Aistrope turn down two invitations to visit China with trade groups this year before most tariffs took effect cufflinks brands uk sale.
But as soybean prices plummeted in August, and Trump threatened to hit China with more tariffs, Aistrope dropped his chores and jumped on a plane to China for a trade mission arranged by the U.S. Grains Council, a industry group financed in part with taxpayer money. He spent 10 days traveling with other farmers, visiting two dairy farms and meeting importers at a large feed maker cufflinks brands uk sale. They struck no deals; Chinese importers said they saw buying U.S. soybeans as politically untenable even if their prices continue to fall. Aistrope was left to hope his visit might make a difference in winning buyers back if the trade war ends..
Back his farm in rural Randolph, Iowa, a friend helped empty out the last of Aistrope’s corn bins to make room for harvest, hauling truckloads of grain to a local ethanol plant. Aistrope, 61, is losing money on every bushel of corn and soy. He worries more about younger growers. “If something doesn’t happen soon,” he said, “we’re going to lose a generation of farmers.”. In Washington, the trade-war spin is far more optimistic cufflinks brands uk sale. Trump last month hailed a renegotiated trade pact with Canada and Mexico as a huge win for U.S. workers and farmers. This year, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney has doubled the number of trade missions the agency takes, inviting farm groups and agricultural businesses to join him..