Wheat farmers angry over Trump comments on exports to Japan
President Donald Trump’s comments on wheat exports to Japan have won him rare negative press in rural America.
Speaking in Pennsylvania of the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, Trump said,
“They send 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 okay.”
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., responded in a statement, “Montana farmers grow the best wheat in the world, and that’s exactly why countries like Japan — the No. 1 importer of our wheat and one of America’s closest allies — buy it.”
The National Association of Wheat Growers responded in a tweet: “Mr. President, Japan is the #1 market for US wheat exports on average, where we hold just over 50% of the market. They don’t buy our wheat because ‘they want us to feel okay.’ They buy it because it’s the highest quality wheat in the world. That’s not fake news.”
And the Oregon League of Wheat Growers tweeted,“Wheat growers are proud to promote high quality wheat crops that meet some of the toughest standards out there. Wheat is important Mr. President — our agriculture industry is the backbone of America.”
Meanwhile, the Kyodo news agency reported that Trump had asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to buy farm products worth “a huge amount,” Reuters reported.
The negative reaction to Trump‘s statement followed farmers venting about the administration’s policies when Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appeared last week at Farmfest in Minnesota.
–The Hagstrom Report