Tradelines News

Get the latest news and updates on cross-border customs and international trade.

Both Sides of the Aisle Stretch the Truth in the Soybean Debate

Posted August 14, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Meg Kelly – Washington Post)

“A study shows that corn, soybean and wheat farmers across the U.S. have already lost $13 billion because of the administration’s trade war. We need trade policies that make sense for North Dakota, protect farmers and ranchers, and open up markets.”

— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), in a tweet, on July 24

“Farmers have been on a downward trend for 15 years. The price of soybeans has fallen 50% since 5 years before the Election. A big reason is bad (terrible) Trade Deals with other countries.”

— President Trump, in a tweet, on July 20

Hours after President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods took effect July 6, China retaliated, leveling equivalent tariffs on a wide range of U.S. goods — including agricultural products.

The tariffs and China’s reaction have sparked a political debate. Trump has proclaimed that “tariffs are the greatest!” Vulnerable Democrats running for reelection in red states aren’t as enthusiastic. They argue that farmers — especially soybean farmers — are the first victims of the administration’s trade war. Trump says Europe will pick up the slack in demand. Plus, he contends, the tariffs were a necessary adjustment, claiming that incomes and commodity prices were falling well before he took office.

We previously looked into the president’s tweet, but the two starkly different assessments caught our attention, and we thought a closer look was in order. After all, how can the president’s tariffs be both savior and disaster? Click here to read more.