Tariffs on Ginseng

I have no intention of inciting a political discussion of rights, wrongs or opinions. What I will post is as I see it. As we all know, much of our American Ginseng goes to China. In years gone by , trade deals have been negotiated, that, honestly, have been one sided. We generally think of this as a Ginseng thing, but it spans the entire agricultural industry ( and more )from milk, to soybeans, to, yes, ginseng. When China pays 0% tariff on American Dairy products, but America pays 28% on Chinese Dairy product, Houston we have a problem.
So times are tough for ginseng growers, and honestly, all farmers.I look to see quite a few cultivated guys quit after this. Or at least that’s what I hear from guys growing cultivated. But I think the important question is, what do we do about it?
First, I think prices will come back, maybe not where they were 2 years ago, but better than they are now, for sure. Second, I think the tariffs will have some unforeseen positive effects. I think, for one, these tariffs and subsequent price increases will open more doors domestically for ginseng that never leaves the country. Again, question is, how do we do that. But coast to coast growers must find a way to dominate in our domestic market. We have to find a way to organize and be a driving force to develop domestic markets, from the health conscious crowd to the traditional Asian crowd. I truly do think this is a time where there will be opportunity for domestic finished product ( roots, root slices, powder, tea and other products ). Simple enough to say, figuring out how to do so, not so much so.
Feel free to share your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “Tariffs on Ginseng”

  1. I completely agree. It never made sense to me for our wild roots to go to China, and then the low end of that come back to us as processes product.

    I have been away from exporting for a few years so my numbers might not be correct. But, I would guess someone might be able to buy the entire American wild ginseng market for under $250 million -this is a drop in the bucket compared to the dollars involved in other sections of the US economy with China. While it is indeed a big deal to us, it isn’t a big deal to the people looking at the US international ginseng market with China comparatively. Therefore, it might suck for a while, but if we stay the course and hold the line with China, I believe the benefits will far outweigh any negatives in the short term. Of course, we have to make it through until then or all is lost.

    1. The thing about ginseng is that there is little market in the USA for it. Most of the people who use ginseng are the elderly in china. Once they go away, the marker will be even less. The younger generation in china don’t use it. They only buy it for gift to their grand parent.

Leave a Reply