Mississippi establishes two-year trade deal with Taiwan

Updated: Sep. 20, 2019 at 6:26 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There’s some good news for Mississippi farmers this week with Taiwan agreeing to buy corn and soybeans from the state. A trip to Taiwan, hosting the Taiwanese delegation in Mississippi and a few signatures later, Mississippi has a trade deal with Taiwan.

“We all know about the ongoing trade dispute with China and the hard position taken by China," said Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson. "They’ve not been buying our soybeans. So, we’ve been looking for other areas in which we could sell Mississippi soybeans and corn. We found that in Taiwan.”

Taiwan’s letter of intent notes that they’re agreeing to buy about 96 million bushels of soybeans and 197 bushels of corn from Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska. That’s a total value of more than $2 billion dollars.

“This provides a level of certainty," added Gipson. "It’s a two year deal for 2020 and 2021. So, our farmers know we’ve got another export option here.”

A certainty that farmers like Danny Murphy say they need.

“We haven’t had much good news on the trade front lately,” Murphy noted.

Murphy just started harvesting soybeans this week. But the tariffs have restricted their sales.

“The President has talked about soon for so long, that I don’t know what soon is anymore," said Murphy. "The other day he was talking about he felt like they’d get a deal before the 2020 election. Well that’s another year. That’s a long time to wait. I certainly don’t think Mississippi farmers and U.S. soybean farmers can afford to wait for a deal. We are hurting for those tariffs.”

Ag Commissioner Gipson says the agency is continuing to seek out these type of trade deals to provide more certainty to the farmers. In Taiwan, the soybeans will be used for vegetable oil and corn primarily for feed.

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