(BISMARCK, ND) – Last month, a group of farmers gathered to call on Congressman Cramer to stand up for North Dakota’s interests, rather than blindly standing with the administration on the trade war. Since then, Cramer has missed his self-imposed deadline for when he’d become “concerned” enough to do something and has compared someone wanting him to stand up against tariffs to “shoot[ing himself] in the head” and attacked Senator Heitkamp as “an enemy of our own country” for working to mitigate some of the harm done to our farmers.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
RealClearPolitics: Trade Deal — or Lack of One — Is Key in N.D. Senate Race
- [Farmers in North Dakota] fear that President Trump’s trade battles have created lasting obstacles to their livelihoods.
- In North Dakota, Chinese tariffs on soybeans have thrown a wrench in the finely tuned production line that makes agriculture a profitable pursuit. Farmers are now betting on high-stakes negotiations that don’t appear to be coming to fruition anytime soon.
- [A]s a cash crop in this country [soybeans are] second only to corn – worth $41 billion last year alone, much of it sold overseas.
- In the meantime, the impasse is roiling North Dakota politics. […] If soybean prices remain low, farmers will be left with the choice of dumping their beans below cost or holding their product in the hopes negotiations come to a positive conclusion. Some may not have the room to personally store their goods and will have to pay to hold the crops in grain elevators — if they can eventually find a buyer, given the surplus of soybeans out there.
- “The only way we can carry on with our way of life is trade,” Dotzenrod [a current state senator and candidate for Agriculture Commissioner] told RCP. “And it’s a world market. If we’re saying to the world, ‘We don’t need you,’ [then] we’re not going to be able to carry on.”
- Farmers are concerned that in the meantime China will find a different source of soybeans, namely South America. They fear countries there will profit off the trade war and re-sell U.S. goods to China at a higher rate.
- Farmers say this is just the beginning of the political consequences if the U.S. and China do not reach a deal. Although those who spoke to RCP were reluctant to wade into politics, they all agreed that if the marketplace does not return to what it was prior to the imposition of tariffs – or improve significantly due to changes – the status quo in this dependably Republican state may not hold.
Read the full article here.