Money Trump trade war overshadows plight of Australia's chickpea farmers

05:50  14 march  2018
05:50  14 march  2018 Source:   ABC News

Australia not exempted from Trump tariffs

  Australia not exempted from Trump tariffs Malcolm Turnbull had hoped Australia would avoid Donald Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs but the president is not offering exemptions to any country.One of US President Donald Trump's top trade officials has confirmed Australia and other allies will be slapped with stiff new tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Unlike the rest of the economy, farms deliver a trade surplus for the United States, and a trade war could put barriers around lucrative markets. Mr. Gould, 76, is a longtime Republican, and like a large numbers of farmers , he voted for Mr. Trump .

Trump added Australia to a list of likely carve-outs, and indicated that other trade and military allies could be exempted. " Trade wars are bad and easy to lose," EU President Donald Tusk warned, rejecting Trump ' s assertion they were "good and easy to win".

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House in Washington, DC.© JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House in Washington, DC. Donald Trump's threat to raise tariffs on Australian steel has overshadowed the plight of the nation's chickpea farmers who have been effectively shut out of one of their biggest export markets.

As of March 1, the tariff on chickpeas going to India stands at 60 per cent, sending the lucrative industry into crisis.

"India is the largest consumer, producer and importer of pulses in the world. And chickpeas are a sizeable portion of that," said Stefan Vogel, global strategist for grains and oilseeds at RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness.

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  'Jobs won't go': Australian company hit in Trump trade war Australia’s only Silicon producer Simcoa is adamant jobs at its smelter near Bunbury aren’t at risk despite being hit in a US trade war. America is now applying a monster 51 percent "dumping duty" to the company, forcing it to suspend US exports worth around $50 million, or close to a third of the company’s total revenue.Dumping duty can be applied by the US Department of Commerce and is supposed to act as balancing measure to level the domestic market by penalising a foreign trader.Simcoa has operated outside of Bunbury for 28 years and employs almost 180 local workers.

Non- farms Overshadows Trade Talk. 12th of March, 2018. It was certainly enough to take some of the focus of trade talk with the two and fro between Trump and the rest of the world continuing.

Trump believes that “ Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” A trade war would hurt the country’ s diplomatic relations. A war could also hurt the US economy severely without giving any real advantages to it.

Dealing with two record-growing seasons and a continuation of large imports, Mr Vogel said the Indian government tried to support its local growers.

"The Indian Government was looking for a way to stabilise prices and clearly the stabilisation came with the introduction of various duties," he said.

A booming industry in crisis

According to industry figures, the value of Australian chickpea exports to India in 2016/17 was $1.14 billion.

Comparatively, the US accounts for about 0.8 per cent of Australia's steel exports and about 1.5 per cent of aluminium exports.

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  EXPLAINER: How will Trump's proposed tariffs cause a 'trade war'? Why cracking down on steel and aluminium will have a huge ripple effect.If they were to be imposed, countries around the world would radically think about the way they mine and export metals – and the way they consume American-made products.

The Australian .

From China to Peru, emerging-market investors face a week of tumult as a trade war looms and faint sprouts of peace emerge on the Korean peninsula. Russia is in focus as traders gauge the impact of US President Donald Trump ’ s decision to impose levies on steel and aluminium.

Those are industries worth about $545 million to Australia's economy.

Backing Australia's farmers, the Federal Government has tried to help its chickpea growers.

One of the first jobs of new Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was a trip to India to discuss the high tariffs.

But compared to prime ministerial phone calls and the assistance of golfer Greg Norman in nullifying US steel tariffs — it has been a quieter response.

"It seems there is a higher degree of influence from what's going on in America than what's really happening at the coal face for Australian [chickpea] growers," said the chairperson of Grain Producers Australia, Andrew Weidemann.

"I think most farmers are looking at it and are saying, 'What's going on? Where do they [the Government] place agriculture in the scheme of things?'"

Thousands of Australian growers impacted

The constant changing of tariff prices in India is wearing thin for Australian growers.

"I would think six or seven thousand farming businesses down the east coast [of Australia] would have been affected by this," Mr Weidemann said.

Cam Parker, who farms near Boort in north-central Victoria, just wants certainty in the market so he knows what he should be planting for the next season.

"As a seasonal grower of pulses, the number one thing we look for is stability in the market," he said.

"Whether it's a case of there is being tariff or not, it is all about that stability."

Trump just rolled out his massive new tariffs -- here's what we know about them .
At the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump rolled out his new tariffs on steel and aluminium. "The workers who poured their souls into building this great nation were betrayed," Trump said at the White House. "But that betrayal is now over.

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