Montana Public Radio

China

Hay bales in a field.
iStock

Trade with China boomed in the U.S. last year after a new trade deal went into effect, one which the Montana Farm Bureau says was great news for Montana farmers. The deal was crafted to offset losses from former President Trump’s trade war with China.

Agriculture officials in multiple states, including Montana, have issued warnings about unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds and advised people not to plant them.

The Montana Department of Agriculture says it’s received multiple reports of residents receiving unsolicited seed packets sent by mail that appeared to have originated in China.

The department writes in a press release the types of seeds are unknown and could be invasive, posing a potential threat to local plants and livestock.

Montana Candidates Highlight Flip-Flops, Public Lands And China

Jul 24, 2020

New ads in Montana's U.S. Senate race target the candidates' election year flip-flops. And candidates in the Senate and gubernatorial races try to make the case that they're the best steward of Montana's public lands.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Faking Meat, The Chinese Way

Apr 26, 2020
Flickr user, Cory Doctorow (CC-BY-2.0)

From his travels in China, Food Guy Greg Patent reports that scientists there have for decades been perfecting the art of fake meat. Not only can they duplicate the flavor of duck, pork, chicken and fish - all from soy protein - they also create authentic color and texture, down to which direction the fake meat fibers run.

 

Regional economists say Montana farmers are in a good position to recover from setbacks caused by international trade tensions last year. This spring they’ll be watching to see if Mexico, Canada and China follow through with their promises, how commodity markets react and if the overall uncertainty over future trade relations starts to fade.

Some Montana lawmakers are applauding the U.S.-China trade agreement signed Jan. 15, saying it’s a big win for the state’s agricultural producers. Critics say a trade war with the world’s second largest economy should not have happened in the first place.

Montana farm field.
Parker Beckley / Missoula Grain and Vegetable Company

Montana’s senior Senator says the Trump administration’s ongoing tariff disputes are hurting Montana farmers.

During his monthly press call, Democrat Jon Tester characterized the Trump administration’s growing trade war as, “Our country’s self-inflicted problem that really doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.” 

We’re taking a look at housing prices in Montana. Looking first at the market for new homes, they’re getting more expensive.

"The tariff combined with natural disaster just made the cost of lumber rise sharply,” says Ryan Frey, the president of the Missoula Building Industry Association.

The tariff he’s talking about is a 20-percent tariff on Canadian softwood imposed by President Trump last December. 

President Trump’s announcement of a trade deal with Mexico sounds like good news for Montana farmers. So says former Montana Senator Max Baucus, now co-director of an advocacy group called Farmers for Free Trade.

Baucus says the 25-year-old NAFTA treaty with Mexico and Canada has generally been good for Montana ag producers. He says he doesn’t know the details of the U.S. Mexico agreement that the President today announced would replace NAFTA, but Baucus says a new trade agreement is generally a positive.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines appearing on C-SPAN on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
C-SPAN

U.S. Senator Steve Daines says that if there’s a trade war, the first casualties will be American farmers.

"That is a big problem, so we don’t want that. Nobody wants that. President Trump doesn’t want that," said Daines.

Pages