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The fertile farmland in eastern Dakota is harvesting well. At this time of year, Kevin Carrer's first thing to do when he gets up in the morning is to turn on his laptop and see how many soybeans Chinese companies buy from him.

达科他州东部的肥沃农田正值丰收时节,每年的这个时候,凯文·卡雷尔早晨起来要做的第一件事就是打开笔记本电脑,查看中国的企业从他手中购买了多少大豆。

Over the past two decades, Cass County, Missouri, has grown the most soybeans in the country. Most of the soybeans are sold to China across the Pacific Ocean as feed for pigs and chickens.

过去二十年来,美国密苏里州的卡斯县是全国种植大豆最多的地区,多数大豆销往太平洋彼岸的中国作为养猪和养鸡的饲料,该县由此发达起来。

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China and other trading partners hit with the tariffs, including the European Union, have sought to maximize the political impact of their reprisals. The European Union imposed tariffs on bourbon, produced in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, from Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan. China’s decision to impose tariffs on soybeans squeezes some of Trump’s staunchest supporters across the Midwestern farm belt.

被关税打击的中国和包括欧洲的其他贸易伙伴,都试图最大化其报复的政治影响。欧盟对产自肯塔基州的波本威士忌和产自威斯康星州的哈雷-戴维森摩托车(Harley-Davidson motorcycles)征收关税,肯塔基州是参议院多数党领袖米奇·麦康奈尔(Mitch McConnell)的家乡,而威斯康星州则是众议院议长保罗·瑞安(Paul Ryan)的家乡。中国对大豆征收关税的决定打击了特朗普在中西部农场地带一些最坚定的支持者。

Like most successful American exports, soybeans are produced at high efficiency by a small number of workers using cutting-edge technologies, like tractors connected to satellites so the optimal mix of fertilizers can be spread on each square foot of farmland. The United States exported $26 billion in soybeans last year and more than half went to China.

像大多数成功的美国出口产品一样,大豆是由少数工人使用尖端技术高效生产出来的,比如拖拉机与卫星连接,因此可以将肥料的最优组合播撒在每一个平方英尺的农田上。去年,美国出口了260亿美元大豆,超过一半运往中国。

Some farmers in North Dakota say they trust Trump to negotiate in the nation’s interest. Karel said many of his customers wear red “Make American Great Again” caps and insist that the pain of lost business and lower profits is worthwhile. They say they will suffer now so their children benefit later — echoing the argument Trump has made.

北达科他州的一些农民说他们相信特朗普会为了国家的利益进行谈判。卡雷尔说,他的许多顾客戴着红色“让美国恢复伟大荣光”(Make America Great Again)帽子,并坚持认为失去生意和降低利润的痛苦是值得的。他们说他们现在将遭罪,所以他们的孩子以后会受益——这与特朗普提出的论点相呼应。

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In the mid-1990s, there were 450,000 acres of soybeans in the state. Last year, there were 6.4 million. As the state’s production of soybeans increased, companies spent millions of dollars on larger grain elevators, on the 110-car trains that carry the soybeans west to the Pacific Coast, on bigger terminals at the ports. A few years ago, Gebeke traded his grain drill, used to plant wheat, for a second machine to plant soybeans.

在1990年代中期,该州有大约45万英亩的大豆。去年有640万英亩。随着大豆产量的增加,公司花费数百万美元购置谷仓塔,用于将大豆往西运到太平洋海岸的110节车厢的火车,还在港口扩建了码头。几年前,格贝吉将用于种植小麦的谷物播种机换成了第二台种植大豆的机器。

The Arthur Companies in 2016 opened a shiny drying, storage and loading facility that can hold 2.7 million bushels of beans waiting for the next train.

亚瑟公司于2016年启用了一个崭新的干燥、储存和装载设施,可以容纳270万蒲式耳正等待下一班火车的大豆。

Soybean farmers also spent millions of dollars cultivating the Chinese market. Farmers in North Dakota and other states contribute a fixed percentage of revenue to a federal fund called the “soybean checkoff” that pays for marketing programs like trade missions to China and research intended to convince Chinese farmers that pigs raised on American soybeans grow faster and fatter. In 2015, North Dakota soybean farmers footed the bill for an event in Shanghai honoring the 10 “most loyal” buyers of American soybeans.

大豆农民还花费了数百万美元来培育中国市场。北达科他州和其他州的农民将一定比例的收入贡献给名为“大豆核查”的联邦基金,该基金为中国贸易代表团等市场营销计划付费,旨在让中国农民相信,用美国大豆饲养的猪可以更快长胖。2015年,北达科他州大豆种植者为在上海举办的一项活动出资,表彰10位“最忠诚”的美国大豆买家。

The soybean industry’s sales pitch emphasized the reliability of American infrastructure and the political stability of the United States. The message was that the Chinese could be confident that American farmers would deliver high quality soybeans.

大豆产业的推销活动强调美国基础设施的可靠性和美国的政治稳定性。传递的信息是,中国人可以信任美国农民能提供高质量的大豆。

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None of this is nearly enough. During the first six weeks of the current export year, which began in September, American soybean exports to China are down by about 6 million tons from last year, while soybean exports to the rest of the world are up by only 3 million tons.

这些都不够。在9月份开始的当前出口年度的前六周,美国对中国的大豆出口量比去年减少了约600万吨,而对世界其他地区的大豆出口量仅增加了300万吨。

Some analysts predict China will be forced to buy more American beans after it exhausts other sources. Others are hopeful that China and the United States will reach a deal to remove the tariffs.

一些分析人士预测,在耗尽其他来源后,中国将被迫购买更多的美国豆。还有人则认为中国和美国有望达成协议以取消关税。

But waiting carries risks. Soybeans can spoil and Brazil harvests its crop in the spring, creating fresh competition for American beans.

但等待会带来风险。大豆会腐坏,巴西在春季收获其作物,为美国豆创造了新的竞争。

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The Trump administration said in August that it would distribute $3.6 billion to soybean farmers to offset the decline in market prices. The subsidy rate of 82.5 cents per bushel, however, covers less than half of the losses facing North Dakota farmers at current market prices.

特朗普政府8月份表示将向大豆农民分发36亿美元,以抵消市场价格的下跌。然而,这笔钱折合每蒲式耳82.5美分的补贴率,不到目前市场价格导致北达科他州农民所面临损失的一半。