Montana Senator Jon Tester sent an invitation Tuesday to President Donald Trump to meet wheat producers in Big Sandy. It comes in response to concerns over the President’s recent comments mocking the role of wheat in trade deals with Japan.
In the letter, Tester says he is happy to host Trump on his family farm in Big Sandy or arrange a tour at another operation to "meet with fellow wheat producers and learn directly from them the role trade plays to our economy and their pocketbook."
The invitation comes a week after Trump dismissed wheat at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. He said in reference to Japan, "They send us thousands and thousands — millions of cars, we send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK, you know, they do it to make us feel good."
In his letter to Trump, Tester says, “Japan plays a particularly important role as the largest importer of Montana’s wheat. This is not a market we can replace and our relationship should be celebrated, not mocked.”
Montana is the third largest wheat-producing state in the U.S. About three-fourths of the wheat goes to Asian Pacific countries, including Japan, and several Japanese companies own grain elevators in Montana.
Trump had not yet responded to Tester’s letter by the deadline for this story.