Heitkamp Discusses Trade and the Farm Bill With Chamber of Commerce
Heitkamp is on the Farm Bill Conference Committee
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) joined a discussion with the Fargo-West Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce to talk about trade and the Farm Bill.
Those involved with the meting say they hope a deal can be reached soon so farmers can have some certainty by the time harvest comes.
“As we get closer to harvest, there tends to be more anxiety, that’s probably one of the biggest things,” Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, said.
In terms of trade and tariffs, agriculture representatives say major changes could have effects all around.
“The majority of our soybeans go towards the Pacific Northwest and are marketed in Asian markets. When we start to take a conventional movement of those soybeans to the East, that greatly impacts and affects our basis,” Goehring said.
Heitkamp, a big supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership, says it isn’t smart to get in a trade war with China.
“This is the fastest growing population in the world, so how do I access that market? That problem needs to be solved. We need to protect our intellectual property, intellectual capital, I don’t know how putting tariffs on soybeans does that other than accelerating the trade war,” she said.
As the current administration works on renegotiating North American Free Trade Agreement, Heitkamp says Mexico looks hopeful.
“Looks like we might get some breakthroughs in Mexico. We’re grateful, they’re a great market for corn, definitely a great market for barely… this is a good emerging market for us. We need to do everything we can do a maintain relationship and maintain markets in Mexico,” she said.
Heitkamp is part of the Farm Bill conference committee, which will put together a compromise on the Senate and House versions of the Farm bill.