ELKMONT, Ala. - Farmers have endured a nearly two-year tariff standoff between the U.S. and China.
Alabama officials believe the new trade agreement could bring relief to suffering industries in Alabama, specifically automotive and farming.
Jessie Hobbs is a fifth-generation farmer in Elkmont, Alabama. He is hopeful that the new trade agreement between the United States and China will bring positive impacts to the farming industry.
"We just hope and pray that the lawmakers in which we've put in there and Mr. Purdue and Mr. Trump can make the best decisions for us. Phase one looks good," said Jessie Hobbs.
As a part of the agreement, China will be buying up to 200 billion dollars in U.S. goods, but only a fraction of that will be from agriculture.
"Now that's all different commodities from baby formulas to poultry to timber, soy mill, soybeans, corn, everything and more, but there's no guaranteed," said Hobbs.
Hobbs says their farm is now competing in a global market. Which means whatever is happening worldwide impacts our local farmers.
"My soybeans compete against Brazil, my cotton goes against Egypt's cotton. It's all about grade and product, and I'm very proud to say that the American product will meet the demands," said Hobbs.
Hobbs Farms in Elkmont produces seven different crops that are sold worldwide.
"Corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat, pumpkins, canola, and we do some sweet corn in rotation. We always try to do a different crop the following year. We like to be economically smart. Everything is a dollar, and we have to make the best profit for the farm along with being responsible caretakers of the land," said Hobbs.
Hobbs says they have seen a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in production prices in recent years with little to no increase in what they are getting paid for their goods. Hobbs tells us he's already seen a slight increase in 2020, which makes him optimistic.
"We've been very fortunate. After the first of the year we've seen a spike in some of the commodity prices," said Hobbs.
Hobbs says right now, they are in the maintenance season so they'll just have to wait and see what impacts, if any, this new deal has.
The success of the new trade deal hinges on whether China will follow through with its commitments.