|From Cory Heidelberger|
At Dakota Free Press
But, revealing the dependable Trump-enabler that better suits his compliant nature, the full-of-it Dusty emerged. Johnson just did a one-eighty on his misgivings about the tariff war that Donald Trump has declared. In an interview published yesterday by the Madison (SD) Daily Leader, the candidate who would "push back" against policies harmful to South Dakota's farmers and at least "ask the President" to keep markets open to our farmers, fell into line with the White House. According to Johnson, Trump is most likely using tariffs on imported goods as a bargaining tool. Never mind that collapsing soybean prices are part of the bargain. Said Johnson, "I'm hoping that will mean better things for producers and manufacturers." In the heart of row-crop country, Johnson effectively told farmers there that they are bargaining tools for President Trump's trade gambits, as useful as pawns on a chess board. The two dollars per bushel that markets have shaved off the price of soybeans since they became Trump's "bargaining tool" amounts to an eighty dollar hit on every acre. You have a thousand acres of soybeans? You just lost eighty grand. For South Dakota's soybean farmers in total it comes out to half-a-billion bucks. Some "push back."
Johnson correctly noted in the Daily Leader piece that the United States is still a principal supplier of high-quality soybeans to the world, and in this incredibly high stakes faceoff with China, that status might get us through, short-term. But long term? A much different outcome seems likely now that China and the rest of the world understand that the American bargaining chip dubbed "soybeans" can be produced elsewhere on this planet. The most common story threading through agriculture media around the world is the pace at which China is becoming more self-sufficient in food production, even while it develops new suppliers elsewhere. Just as America's dangerous and foolhardy dependence on foreign oil supplies set off a massive effort for our country to finally become self sufficient in energy production, China will take the same approach to soybean production. We're stupid to let this happen, and Dusty Johnson is an unwitting political tool for going along with it.