The state-run China Global Television Network has released a series of videos addressing the importance of global trade amid ongoing tariff battles with the United States. But a new clip released on Friday is reportedly aimed to reach America's heartland.
Reuters first discovered the animation entitled, "Monologue of a soybean," wherein a cartoon character with a humpty-dumpty-like appearance introduces himself: "Hi everybody, I am a soybean. I may not look like much, but I'm very important."
In English language with Chinese subtitles, the video addresses the trade war between the US and China while emphasizing the impact that tariffs could have on American soybean producers.
Political messaging in the video is less than subtle, with the "bean" character telling viewers that China imports one third of its soybeans from the US, which amounts to 62 percent of the crop exported by American farmers.
"More expensive soy can mean that China will look to other sources for the bulk of its imports," the cartoon continues, adding, "As two of the top soybean suppliers to China, Brazil and Argentina could pick up the slack. If that happens, farmers in the US could take an even greater hit." Hint, hint.
Then the bean really amps it up, saying: "Trump wants to win over more voters by starting a trade war. But the funny thing is that those voters who Trump thinks will rally behind his trade actions will be hurt by this conflict."
Is this true?
Some of the numbers in the video may be in dispute, but the potential of devastating losses to US farmers is a concern voiced by many agricultural groups and their representatives. Experts say the newly-imposed tariffs against American agriculture products only add to the stresses on producers, who were already facing financial woes and worker shortages.
President Trump took to Twitter on Friday to defend his trade policies, saying that currency manipulation from other countries and previous bad trade deals caused losses that the US is entitled to recapture.
He then added, "Farmers have been on a downward trend for 15 years. The price of soybeans has fallen 50% since 5 years before the Election. A big reason is bad (terrible) Trade Deals with other countries. They put on massive Tariffs and Barriers. Canada charges 275% on Dairy. Farmers will WIN!"
Farmers have been on a downward trend for 15 years. The price of soybeans has fallen 50% since 5 years before the Election. A big reason is bad (terrible) Trade Deals with other countries. They put on massive Tariffs and Barriers. Canada charges 275% on Dairy. Farmers will WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018