Heitkamp: Strong dollar impacting commodity prices
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today pressed Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the impact of the strong dollar value on commodity prices – particularly agriculture and energy commodities which are crucial to North Dakota’s economy – as Yellen testified before the Committee on her Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.
“North Dakota is a commodity-driven state – whether it’s our agriculture or energy industries, my state’s commodities help feed and provide electricity across the country and the world,” said Heitkamp. “Yet, there hasn’t been close to enough attention to the challenges of commodity producers – as opposed to investors — and what the impact of the strong dollar value is having on these jobs and industries, and that’s what I pressed Chair Yellen about today. Almost a quarter of North Dakota workers are farmers and ranchers or employed in farm-related jobs, yet particularly recently, I’ve been hearing from many of them who are understandably alarmed at the drastic drop in cattle prices and agriculture products, impacting their bottom lines and my state’s economy. Meanwhile, the energy industry in North Dakota helped propel my state’s and our country’s economies through some tough times, including the recession, and the industry has now lost about 250,000 jobs worldwide while oil closed at just over $26 today. Commodity prices have taken a toll in North Dakota presenting real challenges for agriculture and energy workers and businesses that we need to follow very closely.”
Click here for video of Heitkamp questioning Yellen during today’s hearing in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
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