WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Some South Dakota agriculture producers are scrambling for answers regarding the Trump administration’s trade policies. With the White House and Beijing swapping tariff blows, South Dakota’s Farm Bureau president is in Washington discussing what he sees in the fields.
Scott VanderWal is a farmer and represents his fellow South Dakota farmers. Testifying in front of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on trade, VanderWal is telling lawmakers that farmers are struggling with low prices already and daily tariff threats have farmers on the brink of losing markets they rely on.
“The longer these trade wars and trade disputes go on, the more dire this gets because we’re getting closer to harvest. The grain markets have reacted very, very negatively. Soybeans have lost two dollars a bushel since late May. Corn is down about 65 cents. That’s real dollars to those of us that are actually selling those commodities,” said VanderWal.
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) invited VanderWal to testify. She recently wrote a letter to the Trump administration urging them to ease off the tariff war and focus on helping farmers.
“I think the administration could be very nimble quite quickly to make sure they’re taking steps to make sure our farmers and ranchers stay in business,” said Noem.
The lawmakers heard testimony from six witnesses with stories of their own. VanderWal fears if something doesn’t happen soon, more and more farms will be in fights for survival.
The White House addressed trade Wednesday. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying in a press briefing the various tariff back-and-forths across the world are “short term and the president hopes to open up a number of different markets and to create a more (even) playing trade field across the globe.”