California's agricultural trade groups urge U.S. gov't to end tariff standoff

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-17 19:45:16|Editor: mym
Video PlayerClose

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Agricultural trade groups in California Thursday expressed concern over the trade frictions caused by the White House and urged the U.S. government to stop the disputes.

Dozens of farmers and local officials joined a round-table discussion in the city of Bakersfield, southern California, hosted by two non-profit organizations, namely the Farmers for Free Trade (FFT) and the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF).

"One in three acres is exported. People take for granted how dependent we are on trade," CFBF President Jamie Johansson was quoted on FFT's official Twitter page on Thursday as saying. "Half of what goes out of the Port of Oakland is ag export related."

Many crops have been suffering due to the trade friction, the CFBF said. Almonds, for example, the number-one crop by acreage in the state, are looking at over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in losses.

"All politics is local, but agriculture is personal. Especially with Asia," local rancher Steve Murray was quoted on FFT's official Twitter page as saying. "Relationships take decades to grow, when that shelf space is lost, now someone else has that relationship."

Since the start of the year, the United States has been wielding a stick of tariffs against its trade partners worldwide. The moves have triggered tit-for-tat retaliations from the countries affected, and are expected to drag down global growth by 0.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.