2021 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Banks

House Resolution 7


     WHEREAS, according to the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, there are approximately 36,200 farms in Mississippi, comprising 10.7 million acres, and 16,355 of those farms represent the sole occupation of the families who live and work there, and there are another 19.7 million acres of timberlands in production in the state, impacting approximately 125,000 Mississippi landowners; and

     WHEREAS, the farm gate value of Mississippi agriculture production is about $7.56 billion annually, and agriculture and forestry production add a combined $16.41 billion to Mississippi's economy; and

     WHEREAS, ranking as one of the top 10 states for the amount of crops produced nationwide, Mississippi primarily produces, in order of market segment, poultry and eggs, timber, soybeans, cotton and corn, and it is the nation's top catfish producing state and also ranks high in production of pulpwood, sweet potatoes, cotton, cottonseed, broilers, rice, peanuts and blueberries; and

     WHEREAS, in 2018, former President Trump announced $50 billion in tariffs against China, and the Chinese quickly responded with similar tariffs, mostly against agriculture products in the United States, with one of the primary products impacted being soybeans, which is Mississippi's top exported product; and

     WHEREAS, because trade rifts with China brought a twenty-five percent tariff on soybeans, and with total national soybean exports to China topping more than $12 billion annually, talk of trade wars and tariffs are worrisome to Mississippi farmers because Mississippi's portion of those exports to China were $109.7 million in 2017, and because of China's retaliatory tariffs against our nation, there has been a significant economic impact on Mississippi farmers whose livelihoods depend on these exported products; and

     WHEREAS, for Mississippians, the impact of the current and proposed tariffs could be tremendous because soybeans are a $1.1 billion industry in the state and the third highest agricultural crop behind poultry and forestry, according to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, with more than 110 million bushels being harvested in 2017 on almost 2.2 million acres from 3,274 farms in the state; and

     WHEREAS, the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China are expected to impact other products, such as cotton and corn, American beef, whisky, passenger vehicles, industrial chemicals, wheat, sorghum and tobacco; and

     WHEREAS, because China has imposed retaliation tariffs against the United States, the livelihoods of Mississippi farmers have been drastically impacted, and for our state to see an end to these issues, current trading relationships must be preserved and new opportunities for agricultural trade must be secured for the growth and renewed prosperity of agriculture in Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby urge President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to end the tariff war, which is harming the livelihoods of Mississippi farmers.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.