Tester to Trump: Japanese Trade Relationship ‘Should be celebrated, not mocked’

Senator invites President to Big Sandy to meet with Montana wheat producers

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator and wheat farmer Jon Tester sent a letter to President Donald Trump inviting him to Montana to meet with grain producers who have expressed concern over the President’s recent comments minimizing the U.S. trade relationship with Japan, Montana’s number one wheat market.

“I am inviting you to Montana to meet with fellow wheat producers and learn directly from them the role trade plays to our economy and their pocketbook,” Tester wrote. “Japan plays a particularly important role as the largest importer of Montana’s wheat. This is not a market we can replace and our relationship should be celebrated, not mocked.”

Tester continued, “I appreciate your interest in making sure Americans are treated fairly in trade deals…Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse over the last two and a half years. I do not believe this is the intention of your Administration, but this is the reality for farmers selling their grain at the elevator.”

Speaking last week on a false scenario he believes to be a trade imbalance with Japan, President Trump said: “They send us thousands and thousands – millions of cars, we send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK, you know, they do it to make us feel good.”

The Presidents’ comments caused concern among Montana wheat producers, many of whom rely on Japanese and Asian Pacific markets to sell their product.

Tester has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s trade war and has pushed to hold the Administration accountable by passing legislation to give Congress a role in imposing tariffs. He has heard about the impact of these tariffs firsthand, holding in-person listening sessions with Montana farmers, ranchers, and small business owners about the consequences of the trade war.

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.