South Dakota AG Community: Critics of Trade War & Bailout Plan
The president announced Tuesday, July 25th, a $12 billion plan to pay farmers for their losses and find new global markets.
However, some in South Dakota’s ag industry say a bailout won’t stop the damaging domino effect of the trade war with China.
“It’s kind of a poor bandaid to put on for the time being,” said Scott Stahl, a soybean and corn farmer in Emery, SD.
Many farmers including Stahl see the $12 billion aid as a short term solution.
“Overall farmers are not interested in receiving a check, what we want is trade, said Stahl.
Scott VanderWal, Vice President of South Dakota Farm Bureau says the money will help some farmers financially.
“It’ll likely help keep some farmers and ranchers in business,” said VanderWal.
However, a big concern for everyone is losing such an impactful overseas market like China, which accounts for over 40 percent of U.S. soybean exports or $1.1 billion.
“It doesn’t help to overall heal a trade relationship that’s been damaged because of the policy, said Stahl.
“It’s hard to see because we’ve worked hard to establish those relationships.”
“It takes a long time to get those overseas markets back once you lose them,” said VanderWal.
Even with aid, long term the trade war could create a negative effect for everyone since South Dakota’s economy greatly depends on agriculture.
Due to loss of money, some may not find it beneficial to stay in the business.
“We can see farmers going out of business on both ends of the age range and if farmers start going out of business that also takes with it the businesses in the small towns that cater to agriculture like seed and feed businesses, chemicals, fertilizer. And If those go away then our small towns die,” said VanderWal.
Farmers understand something has to be done with China.
“We wouldn’t dispute that there’s been a trade imbalance. We’re here to help solve that. It’s just disappointing to see farmers used as the pawn in helping settle that trade dispute,” said Stahl.
In the end farmers say what they want is free trade and not aid moving forward.