CNBC reports, “The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.”
According to USDA.gov’s internal trade data for chickens, turkeys and eggs exported to China, in 2015, U.S farmers sold 260,102,000 pounds to China. Fast forward to 2018, and those exports fell dramatically to 122,000 pounds. If that is welcome news, send the Real Donald Trump a thank you tweet.
According to The Poultry Site.com, “Most of the world’s turkey meat is produced in just five countries: US, Brazil, Germany, France and Italy.”
Before Donald Trump, China bought most of its turkey meat from the United States. My guess is that China is now buying its turkey from Brazil. “Although one-fifth of the size of the US industry, turkey production in Brazil rocketed by 220 per cent between 2000 and 2008. Without a doubt, this has been the most dynamic industry in the current decade with output likely to come close to 500,000 tonnes this year making this country the second largest producer in the world.”
By the time Trump arrived and declared his tariff war with most of the world, I think Brazil’s turkey producers were ready.
According to CNBC, “Struggling (U.S.) farmers are losing a huge customer to the (Trump’s) trade war – China.”
And if you think the Chinese do not eat Turkey, you are wrong. Mentalfloss.com tells us that China is #1 among the top five importers of turkey meat. According to Mentalfloss, China imported 82.8 million pounds, and that was back in 2012.
Conclusion, if you are one of the 72,000 American expatriates living and working in China and you want to eat turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving (a U.S. holiday), that turkey probably came from Brazil, Germany, France, or Italy, but not the United States where the farmers that produce turkey are probably facing failure if not already bankrupt.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.