US farmers who sell to China feel pain of Beijing's tariffs

A midwestern farmer tills and fertilizes his land near Omaha Nebraska., Photo Date: 1988 / Photo: Scott Stewart / DoD / (MGN)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - China's announcement Monday of higher tariffs on $60 billion of American exports - retaliation for President Donald Trump's latest penalties on Chinese goods - hit a particular nerve here in the farm belt. China's vast consumer market has been a vital source of revenue for Americans whose livelihoods depend on farm exports.

Beijing's action wasn't unexpected. But it still felt like a heavy blow to many.

Since December, when U.S. and China negotiators called a truce to tariffs and began signaling that an agreement might be reached, soybean farmers had been holding out hope that sales to China would resume, said Todd Hultman, an Omaha-based grain market analyst with agriculture market data provider DTN. In the meantime, the farmers had been storing a record stockpile of nearly 1 billion bushels.