What is wrong with the American Soybean Association? Here is the representation of the fastest-growing segment of agriculture, the growing of soybeans. Soybeans have now become the largest planted acreage in the United States, eclipsing corn. Add to that, Brazil who was inconsequential 30 years ago, now grows more soybeans than the U.S. and is anticipated to continue that advance.
Over the last decade, China has increased imports of beans into their country, but in the mix, Brazil has gotten a substantial share of that gain on an annual basis. The ASA brags about how we sell $14 billion worth of beans to China, as if they had anything to do with it, and they act like that’s good enough. The real question is, why are we not selling $20 billion of beans? With ever-increasing supplies of soybeans anticipated in the coming years, why have we allowed trade tariffs on U.S. soybeans into China over the last decade?
Over the past decade, we have seen Brazilian exports explode larger than U.S. exports, and the ASA has not fought that, let alone challenge the 13 percent tariffs that China has carried on U.S. beans. Now we have a president who’s willing to take charge of something the ASA should have done, and that is to expand bean exports even faster. And who better with, the largest buyer of beans in the world who already runs a massive trade deficit with U.S.
Now we have many in the rank-and-file of the ASA, who act like grain prices are not cyclical, bemoaning the present price decline, which more than half of the decline is tied to the best growing conditions in a decade, with a bin-busting crop on the way if weather does not turn adversarial.
The ASA should be supporting the president who goes beyond the Art of Politics and uses the “Art of the Deal.” He knows we have the upper hand with our $20 trillion economy over China’s $10 trillion economy. The U.S. is the big dog, and China is the tick growing by sucking the economic life out of this country. Give this president a chance, this man only picks a fight he knows he can win. American agriculture wants to brag about its productivity, but this president is going to create profitability the ASA will likely take credit for.