Maine farmers, like farmers across the country, are suffering financially as a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
A report published by Dairy Herd Management described how tariffs have significantly lowered milk prices, causing dairy farms to lose an estimated total of $2.3 billion in revenue.
Maine is home to more than 200 dairy farms that produce 71 million gallons of milk a year, according to the Maine Dairy Industry Association.
Agri-Mark Senior Economist Catherine de Ronde toldCentral Maine that the tariff war will cost farmers tens of thousands of dollars.
“The average Maine farm, which my guess is about 150 to 180 [cows], we’re talking about a $50,000 loss,” de Ronde said.
China’s import tariffs affect about $60 billion in U.S. commodities. China is the fourth largest market for U.S. farm products, importing $5.9 billion of commodities. That trails only Japan ($6.1 billion), Canada ($7.7 billion) and Mexico ($8.1 billion).
President Donald Trump has insisted the tariff war is necessary, accusing China of manipulating the value of its own currency, cheating in international trade markets and stealing intellectual property from American businesses. He also maintains that China does not follow through on its promises.
“As usual, China said they were going to be buying 'big' from our great American Farmers,” President Trump tweeted Aug. 13. “So far they have not done what they said. Maybe this will be different!”