Will farmers continue to support the president’s policies?

If one listens to national “correspondents” and talking heads, one would assume that the withdrawal from NAFTA, the incomplete negotiation for the Canada-Mexico-U.S. trade agreement and the hard line taken on trade policy violators such as China, are huge hits to the U.S. economy.

Reality check. We live in a state dominated by energy and agriculture and there aren’t exactly farmer protesters with pitchforks protesting outside of the offices of congressional delegation members – or anywhere else.

Polls assert that President Trump enjoys strong support in North Dakota, despite the importance of agriculture in the state. If the next presidential election were held today, the numbers show Trump would have the support of North Dakota moreso than most other, even “Red” states.

Why? And that isn’t a challenging “why.”

Perhaps ranchers and farmers know we – as Americans – aren’t playing on an equal playing field. We might play by the “rules” of free trade, but Mexico and China don’t. Until now. Maybe ag producers realize this. Maybe they realize that fair play is one direction and it costs us.

Tough trade negotiation might cause North Dakota agriculture short-term difficulties. But those are dwarfed by the long-term benefits of trade policies that for the first time in decades benefit actual U.S. producers.

Statistics seem to support that position.

It’s unlikely that the administration pushes on trade to the point that causes long-term damage. More likely, nations in need adjust their policies to appease the U.S. That benefits all ag producers in North Dakota, even if it takes time and TV talking heads (most of which have never been on a farm) say otherwise, for their political benefit.

We shall see how negotiations work out. In the meantime, Minot Daily News supports the positions of our congressional delegation in looking at the long term.

That’s what matters.

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