I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Farmers Need a Free Trade President


Today's news is filled with the Mueller report. It should be filled with economics.

  1. I found it humorous when President Trump told farmers he would negotiate a "new trade deal" with China that would help farmers. Farmers were selling shiploads to China--several different commodities. There were few restrictions placed on these U.S. products and farm prices were held up at least in part by these exports.
    When Trump said he wanted U.S. manufacturers to have more opportunities China and raised tariffs on Chinese goods China said it would buy ag products elsewhere. And it has. This was as predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow.
    Now the inevitable harm Trump's harm did to U.S. agriculture is slowly coming to beĀ understood by farmers. They are beginning to see they have been taken. Farm financial conditions are the worst they have been for decades and farmers now understand the "trade deal" might help others but will be a bad deal for them. They don't know it has been a bad deal for most everyone.
    The outcome I expect of the "trade deal" is this. The Chinese will allow or even invite a few insignificant U.S. firms to set up businesses in China. This will allow the President to claim he won.
    The President will lower the tariffs he raised. Attempts will be made to reestablish the former grain sales to China. Prices will not rise for a long time because the countries China started buying from will want to hang on to this business.


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