Montana Public Radio

trade

Brigitta Miranda-Freer
Courtesy of Brigitta Miranda-Freer

Imagine pulling out a new board game's instructions and discovering that the normally skinny pamphlet runs thousands of pages and spells out the rules of the game from soup to nuts. That's what an international trade agreement looks like: it's comprehensive, it's years in the making, and millions of people's livelihoods depend on it.

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 wheat farmers say they’ve been given a “glimmer of hope” with an initial trade deal reached this week between the U.S. and local grain growers’ largest buyer: Japan.

Baucus Optimistic About New Trade Deal With Mexico

Aug 27, 2018

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.

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Matt Rosendale meets with the Montana Grain Growers Association in Great Falls, MT, August 21, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Republican Matt Rosendale says Montana farmers stand with him in supporting President Trump on trade issues. But Montana grain trade executives he spoke to Tuesday were unsure if Trump’s hard line stance on trade will end up helping their industry.

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.

Wheat field.
(PD)

Sen. Jon Tester and the president of the Montana Grain Growers Association both spoke in Congress Wednesday about negative effects they say President Trump’s trade policies are having on Montana farmers.

Montana's Reps Like Farm Bill, Divided On Food Stamp Work Requirement

Jun 26, 2018

The Senate has started debating its version of the Farm Bill, and both of Montana’s Senators, Jon Tester and Steve Daines, say their chamber’s version of the Farm Bill is good news for Montana farmers and ranchers. But they disagree on at least one important aspect of it.

First, Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka reports on what they agree on.

Chinese Ambassador Chui Tian Kai (left) and Republican Senator Steve Daines spoke to the press after a meeting at a ranch near Belgrade, Montana in Sept., 2017
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines says he’s encouraged that President Trump appears interested in the US returning to negotiations to become part of Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. And Daines said he told the President farmers and ranchers prefer access to international markets to subsidies that would protect them from tariffs.

Baucus: 'America First' Trade Policy Won't Work

Apr 6, 2018

How might the trade sanctions President Donald Trump is proposing for China affect Montanans? We put that question to former Montana Senator Max Baucus, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to China in the Obama administration. In October, Baucus joined former Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana to form an advocacy group called Farmers For Free Trade, which represents the National Wheat and Corn Growers Associations, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation, among others. 

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