The agriculture industry has hit some rocky waters with recent trade wars between the US and China. Shelby Rose talked to the state agriculture commissioner about the issue. Earlier this month, $34 billion dollars worth of tariffs were put in place against China. They responded with the exact same, targeting agriculture products like corn, wheat, and soybeans.
While direct sales of these products won’t happen until the fall and winter – if these tariffs are still in place by then – that can have a huge affect on many North Dakotans.
“When we have companies back here, real companies, small mom and pop facilities that this is kind of their life bred. It’s not fair to them when somebody wants to play games,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
So to help off-set these potential impacts, the USDA announced $12 billion dollars in aid to US farmers. It’ll come in direct payments as well as partnerships to create new export markets, and a food purchase program.
Goehring added, “When you’re looking at a 400, 500, 600 billion dollar industry, it helps a little bit, but I’m not sure how much.”
On the KX News Facebook page, the majority of comments concerning the aid were in opposition. Calling it a guilt payment, saying the help shows weakness, and a hand-out due to the President’s stupidity. But will there be peace between the two countries before these negative impacts show?
“I think it’s going to get resolved. I can’t tell you when. But I think it depends on when China runs out of food,” said Goehring.
And when it comes to future discussions between the US and China, Goehring has a word of advice for President Trump.
He said, “We need to allow people to save face in this and let’s have some fair negotiations going on. And maybe no more tweeting would help.
On top of these tariffs, soybean prices are going down as well, dropping 19% since May.