MTPR

tariffs

Montana could be caught in the spillover effects when China levies higher tariffs on U.S. products.

It’s another step in the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.

Last year, tariffs nearly knocked out Montana’s wheat exports to China.

The market has been less than stellar since, according to farmers in the state, which includes Lyle Benjamin, President of Montana Grain Growers Association.

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.” 

House for sale.
(PD)

Today we’re taking a look at housing prices in Montana. In our last story, we reported on how tariffs on Canadian and Chinese building supplies are driving up prices for new homes in Montana.

But there appears to be some downward pressure on prices for existing homes.

“Well, so things are starting to change,” says Brint Wahlberg, of the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

Wahlberg says the local median sales price is still holding strong at close to $290,000.

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.

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