Farmers in Mississippi could suffer from proposed tariffs

Farmers in Mississippi could suffer from proposed tariffs
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Mississippi farmer David Wade
Mississippi State University

Could action taken by the Chinese government affect farming in Mississippi? MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Billie Tabb is a Mississippi farmer. The Eupora resident grows cotton, peanuts, soybeans, and corn in 5 counties across the state. He says the tariffs proposed by the Chinese government on U.S. exports such as soybeans and cotton will impact Mississippi farmers, and fast.

"It is a very scary time. Only because we are producing so much more than we need in our nation. In the United States, we produce so much more than we need. So we have to rely on world trade for us to stay in business," said Tabb.

China is the largest importer of U.S. soybeans and among the top for cotton. Experts believe the potential tariffs could damage Mississippi because soybeans and cotton are the top two real crops produced. At least half of the soybeans and cotton produced in Mississippi are exported, according to the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics.

MSU's Brian Williams says, talks about tariffs can risk the nation's relationship with China.

"Because we've got some other countries around the world that would be more than happy to step in and take the U.S. place in exporting soybeans to China: two of them being Brazil and Argentina," said Williams.

Soybeans and Cotton together are a multi-billion dollar industry according to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.