U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp Thursday released the following statement after new USDA data show a nearly 96 percent drop in the pace of U.S. soybean exports to China this marketing year, which began September 1. About 70 percent of North Dakota’s soybeans have typically been exported to Asia, primarily China, but the administration’s trade war has crippled this important market for North Dakota farmers.
“North Dakota farmers are not at fault for China’s unfair trade practices, yet they’re being asked to bear the brunt of the pain caused by the administration’s trade war. That’s not fair to our farmers or to our rural communities who rely on agriculture to keep them strong,” Heitkamp said. “North Dakota soybean farmers have all but been cut off from the Chinese soybean market, the outcome farmers have been warning about for months. It’s a shame the administration didn’t listen to North Dakota farmers, who know their business and the importance of exports far better than anyone in Washington. From day one, I’ve been echoing the concerns I’m hearing from farmers and pushing for smart trade policies that hold China accountable while preserving markets for North Dakota goods. That’s the responsible approach the administration should take to protect our farmers, workers, and rural economy.”