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Nov 27, 2018   |  

Tester Thinks Tariff Disputes Hurting Montana Farmers

By: Edward O'Brien, MTPR

Montana's senior Senator says the Trump administration's ongoing tariff disputes are hurting Montana farmers.

During his monthly press call, Democrat Jon Tester characterized the Trump administration's growing trade war as, "Our country's self-inflicted problem that really doesn't seem to have an end in sight."

President Donald Trump says he plans to escalate tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at the start of the new year.

Sen. Tester, a north-central Montana farmer, says the United State's ongoing tariff disputes with its trading partners are putting the pinch on Montana agriculture.

"Farmers across the state, including my operation, still have some of last year's grain in the bin because we've lost access to some of those markets. These tariffs have caused commodity prices to fall and they've loaded family farmers and ranchers with uncertainty just as we're planning for next growing season."

Critics accuse China of using unfair trading practices to gain economic leverage over the U.S. The Trump administration also condemns China of rampant theft of intellectual property. Tester doesn't disagree, but says there are better ways to deal with the problem than escalating tariff disputes.

"If you start stopping the flow of international money, which we can do individually, but we can really do in concert with our allies, I think they come around much, much quicker - money talks."

Tester on Tuesday held his first telephone press conference with Montana reporters since winning re-election to the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

He says Congress simply must reauthorize the Farm Bill.

"In rural America the Farm Bill's critically important because it gives that safety net - and especially with that tariff situation - that safety net is as important now as it's ever been in our country's history for food security and making sure that family farm agriculture can survive."

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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