Colorado’s farmers and ranchers on edge as U.S. and China try to stave off a trade war |

Colorado’s farmers and ranchers on edge as U.S. and China try to stave off a trade war

Cattle prices have already fallen

Dust flies up as Oscar Ortiz, a pen rider at Cure Feeders, works with the cattle on Sept. 13, 2017 in Idalia.
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

China is proposing penalties that would punch America square in its breadbasket following U.S. threats of tariffs on $50 billion worth of its goods. And that posturing has put Colorado’s farmers and ranchers on edge.

“I can tell you it makes the U.S. farmer and rancher nervous when we have our president talking about limiting our access to world markets,” said Marc Arnusch, owner and operator of Marc Arnusch Farms, which raises corn, wheat and other crops in Prospect Valley.

China has threatened a 25 percent tariff on pork. Soybeans, the top crop the U.S. sends to China, also is vulnerable, as is sorghum, a grain raised for export that is well-suited to Colorado’s drier climate.

Even if Colorado producers don’t export their crops, reduced access will only further depress prices in a market struggling with excess supply, Arnusch said.

Defenders of the administration’s tougher stance on trade argue it will result in greater access for U.S. goods and create a more level playing field. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reassured markets Monday, saying he was confident that the two countries could reach an agreement that would avoid the U.S. tariffs.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website.

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