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China cutting US soybean purchases in face of tariffs threat

In this April 12, 2018 file photo, packets of raw soybeans are placed on a table at a U.S. soybean company's booth at the international soybean exhibition in Shanghai, China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With the threat of tariffs and counter-tariffs between Washington and Beijing looming, Chinese buyers are canceling orders for U.S. soybeans, a trend that could deal a blow to American farmers if it continues.

    At the same time, farmers in China are being encouraged to plant more soy, apparently to help make up for any shortfall from the United States.

    Beijing has included soybeans on a list of $50 billion of U.S. exports on which it has said it would impose 25 percent tariffs if the United States follows through on its threats to impose the same level of tariffs on the same value of Chinese goods. The U.S. tariffs could kick in later this month.

    Soybeans en route to China now could be hit by the tariff when they arrive.

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