(BISMARCK, ND) – Yesterday, farmers across North Dakota came together to speak out against the trade war and to call on Congressman Cramer to stand up for North Dakota’s interests, rather than blindly standing with the administration on this disastrous policy and dismissing their concerns as “hysteria.”
WATCH WDAY: Jim Dotzenrod: “It’s a little bothersome to me that the people that have crafted this policy, that have decided to go this route, have no skin in the game. They’re playing poker with somebody else’s money. If they were actually seeing the kind of damage, if they were affected personally, I don’t think we’d see this.”
- While Congressman Cramer discussed the status of U.S. trade in North Dakota, farmers from across North Dakota spoke out against his comments on the trade war.
- North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner candidate Jim Dotzenrod and several growers spoke at a forum hosted by the North Dakota Democratic–NPL Party.
- The producers called out Cramer for saying that they should have a “higher pain threshold” when voicing their concerns about trade.
- Farmers say the tariffs make it harder for them to do their jobs.
- “We all know that trade wars don’t work. And so for Representative Cramer to stand beside Trump and promote harm to North Dakota farmers is just wrong in my opinion,” said Vanessa Kummer, a farmer from Colfax.
- Most of these farmers spoke out in support of Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Cramer’s opponent in the upcoming Senate election, and her stance on agriculture issues.
- There is plenty of nervousness over how the trade war is affecting North Dakota’s farmers as the harvest gets into full swing.
- The North Dakota Trade Office says two foreign trade missions to the state have been canceled and a higher-than-normal number of visas sought by international buyers hoping to attend this year’s Big Iron Farm Show have been denied by immigration officials.
- Both are examples of trade “opportunities lost” for North Dakota companies and farmers, said Simon Wilson, executive director of the trade office.
- In addition, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL party held a counterprotest at a farm about 8 miles south of Fargo in rural Horace.
- Speakers said they wanted to hold Cramer accountable for his failure to act on the ongoing trade war with China, which has depressed the prices of soybeans and other crops, and halted orders for soybeans that normally ship in high volumes to ports in the Pacific Northwest.
- Jim Dotzenrod, a Wyndmere farmer running for North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, said there is a big crop of soybeans coming and the tariffs that have sparked a growing trade war have already depressed soybean prices to $7.33 a bushel, with $9 a bushel being a break-even point for many farmers. “There’s no Pacific Northwest bid” for soybeans, Dotzenrod said. “Those markets have dried up.”
- Dotzenrod praised Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., while calling on Cramer, who’s trying to unseat Heitkamp, to back away from his unwavering support for President Trump’s trade strategy.
WDAY: “The two, along with Congressman Cramer, hope the state’s farmers have the patience and the faith to wait for some new deals. Now just for a sense of scale here, North Dakota relies on China to buy nearly two-thirds of its soybean crops each year. That’s about a billion and a half dollars worth of beans.”
But Congressman Cramer? He’s still putting himself and his political capital first.