Before Trump initiated a trade war with China, the Chinese bought up to 60 percent of all soybeans grown by American farmers. They stopped buying American soybeans altogether in response to Trump's trade war and Trump is now bailing out soybean farmers who've seen over half of their market disappear in an instant.
China chose to replace American soybeans with Brazilian soybeans and the surging demand has been very lucrative for Brazilian farmers.
In fact, they're getting paid more than what Trump's bailout is worth.
[China] is turning instead to Brazil, which has ridden the wave of Chinese demand for two decades to become a global agricultural powerhouse. Brazilian soybean exports to the Asian country jumped 22 percent by value between January and September, compared to the same period a year ago.
Brazilian producers are not only selling more grain, their soy is fetching $2.83 more per bushel than beans from the United States, up from a premium of just $0.60 a year ago, thanks to stepped up Chinese purchases.
The Department of Agriculture recently announced that soybean farmers in America will receive $1.65 per bushel while other farmers will receive even less than that.
When farmers say they want trade, not bailouts, this is why. Selling their crops to the biggest market in the world is far more reliable and lucrative than any temporary bailout could be.
One of the biggest risks of Trump's trade war is that the market will permanently shift and American farmers (and other American industries) will be cut off even when the trade war is over.
American industries can sell their goods and products elsewhere, but nothing can make up for losing access to the nearly 1.4 billion people who live in China where the middle class is already larger (over 480 million people) than the entire population of the United States.