In the months following China's retaliatory introduction of tariffs on U.S. soybean exports, both traditional and social media were abuzz with the screeching sound of 'analysts' claiming that Trump Administration trade war with China is a boon to Vladimir Putin's Russian economy.
Behold this from the
- Venerable CFR (albeit intellectually vulnerable): https://www.cfr.org/blog/trumps-trade-war-china-makes-russia-great-again and
- WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-exploits-u-s-china-trade-tensions-to-sell-more-soybeans-11550745001 and
- Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-17/china-buys-record-amount-of-russian-soy-as-it-shuns-u-s-growers and more Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-07/china-turns-to-russia-in-search-to-replace-u-s-soybeans and
- And a good collection of sources across the media here: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/7/1824363/-Is-Russia-profiting-from-Trump-tariffs-on-China and
- The Hill: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/388178-china-buys-record-amount-of-russian-soybeans-amid-halt-on-us-imports and
- A more somber and sober analysis from Carnegie Moscow Center: https://carnegie.ru/commentary/77443 and so on
https://global-macro-monitor.com/2019/05/14/who-pays-the-tariffs/) showing that Russia is hardly a major winner from Trump's Trade Wars when it comes to soybeans:
Let's put the thin blue line of 'Russia winning, thanks to Trump' through some analysis:
- There is no dramatic massive rise in Russian exports of soybeans to China in 2018, and some dip in 2019.
- 2018 increase - moderate - came in after 2017 moderate decrease.
- Russian exports of soybeans to China have been rising-falling-rising very gently since 2013.
Friendly Canada quietly dramatically increased its sales of soybeans to China in the wake of the Trade War, although its exports were rising since 2015. Argentina also acted as a substitute supplier to China during the Trade War period so far, but that increase came on foot of massive collapse in exports to China since the start of this decade. In fact, while the U.S. share of Chinese imports of soybeans fell 30 percentage points, Brazil's share rose 35 percentage points. Trump's Administration-triggered Trade War with China has helped Brazil first, followed by Canada and Argentina. Russia hardly featured in this dastardly plot to serve Vladimir Putin's interests by Agent Trumpovsky.
Sorry, my dear friends in American mass media. You've faked another factoid.