In April of 2018, North Dakota GOP Senate candidate Kevin Cramer decided to comment on the very valid worries farmers in his state had about Trump’s burgeoning trade war, labeling these very valid worries as “hysteria”:
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), the GOP candidate for US Senate, said he thinks the hysteria needs to be ratcheted back.
“There are people, particularly Democrats, who want to pour fuel on the fire of hysteria,” Cramer said. “That’s neither helpful to the markets or helpful to the farmers. And it’s certainly not helpful to the country.”
Then he decided to give a patronizing lesson to his state’s farmers about how markets work:
“Markets are volatile, and markets are emotional,” Cramer said. “But markets generally will re-calibrate to what a willing buyer will pay for a product to a willing seller.”
As if North Dakota farmers weren’t already keenly aware of how markets work. They are farmers. Of course they know how markets work. Kevin Cramer, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have the slightest idea. Soybeans are the largest crop in North Dakota right now. There is twice as much acreage devoted to soybeans than to the 2nd largest crop, corn, in North Dakota. And 70% of North Dakota soybeans are sold to China. China is the buyer. And they have stopped buying:
“Now that China isn’t buying any U.S. beans or very little of it, it’s all backing up — especially in the Dakotas, where they’ve really expanded soybean acres over the years,” said Terry Reilly, a senior commodity analyst at Futures International in Chicago.
And the fact that the North Dakota soybean market has lost its main buyer has caused prices to plummet:
The commodity has fallen about 17 percent in price on the decline in the soybean futures market since China announced the tariff. But because Midwest states are more diversified in terms of customers, the basis widening tends to be less pronounced than in the Dakotas.
On Monday, Arthur Cos in the Arthur, North Dakota, area had a cash bid for soybeans of $7.03 per bushel, according to data on AgWeb.com. That was 89 cents per bushel below, or about 11 percent less than, what Ramsey Grain in Rochester, Illinois, was paying for the commodity.
All told, for North Dakota, Trump’s trade war has caused soybean prices to plummet almost 30%.
Kevin Cramer should stop making patronizing statements to farmers. He should start listening to them instead. And Kevin Cramer should not be rewarded for his ignorance and arrogance by being elected to the United States Senate.