Rounds: Farmers “In the President’s Corner” During China Trade Talks

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Chinese negotiators are in the United States this week, reportedly working to finalize a trade deal amid threats from President Trump to increase tariffs on Friday.

In a media call on Thursday, Senator Mike Rounds says he understands producers and manufactures back home are taking a big hit from these trade and tariff troubles.

Senator Rounds says soybean prices are down 20 percent or $2 a bushel and with net farm income down 50 percent in the last five years. He says he knows a deal needs to happen soon, but he says farmers in South Dakota are still “in the president’s corner” during the trade standoff.

“They want him to succeed,” said Senator Rounds. “They’re in his corner on this stuff and I’ve talked to a lot of producers that are really feeling it, and yet they’re saying, look, we just don’t see another way out than to just bear through it and get this done.”

Representative Dusty Johnson says ranchers and farmers in South Dakota have been “more patient” during these trade talks than he expected them to be, but he says he knows their patience is running thin.

Representative Johnson says he believes tariffs, for the sake of tariffs, are never a good idea. He says there were not many tools in the president’s toolbox to deal with China negotiators, and calls them a “hardball competitor.”

“I have a concern about what that is going to mean for farm country, but we need to understand that we have to hold China accountable, not only during these negotiations but throughout the lifetime of this deal,” said Representative Johns0n.

Both congressmen agree, South Dakota producers benefit best with multiple open markets and agree that the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal should also be a priority.

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