There is a consensus in China to take "strong restrictive measures" against what was billed by an op-ed from Global Times as dumping of subsidized soybeans by some countries on the Chinese market.
The op-ed from the Chinese state-controlled English-language newspaper, which was published a day after an editor of Global Times said China will target American soybeans worth more than $10 billion sold each year to China if U.S. President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on Chinese exports, claimed that the U.S. violates World Trade Organization rules by heavily subsidizing U.S. soybeans.
The Trump administration is planning to announce up to $60 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports by March 23, targeting intellectual property, technology and telecommunications.
American soybeans are heavily subsidized, giving them what the latest op-ed called "an unfair advantage" over Chinese farmers. China, at one point, used to be the largest soybean exporter in the world, but has now become the largest soybean importer. China's soybean imports surged 74.3% to 40.73 million tons from 2010 to 2017, the newspaper said, citing data released by the country's National Statistics Bureau.
It said U.S. exports half of its soybeans, one of the main reasons for soybean oversupply in the world. The U.S. soybean industry benefits from strong Chinese demand, according to the op-ed.
Placing restrictions on imported soybeans would reduce the negative effects of imported soybeans on the Chinese market and create a fair environment for the sustainable development of Chinese soybean industry.
The American Soybean Association has sought a meeting with Trump and urged him to reverse or modify his tariff decision. China imported 1.4 billion bushels of soybeans from the U.S., accounting for 61% of total American soybeans exports, according to the ASA.