North Dakota Farmers Condemn GOP Senate Candidate For Telling Them to Suck It Up on Trump's Tariffs

That comment has angered many farmers in the state.

President Donald Trump's rapidly exploding trade war is already threatening the livelihood of farmers across the country. But Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican candidate for Senate in North Dakota, is less than sympathetic.

"The problem is, when you have a long game plan and there's short term, potential short term pain, we don't have a very high pain threshold in the United States of America," Cramer said of the Trump tariffs in June.

That comment has angered many farmers in the state. And at a forum hosted by the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party and attended by Agriculture Commissioner candidate Jim Dotzenrod, local farmers condemned Cramer for telling them to just go ahead and accept themselves as economic casualties.

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"We all know that trade wars don’t work," said Colfax farmer Vanessa Kummer, speaking to a reporter from KVRR. "And so for Representative Cramer to stand beside Trump and promote harm to North Dakota farmers is just wrong in my opinion."

Cramer is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who has warned that one study from the conservative Chamber of Commerce estimates Trump's tariffs could cost North Dakota $61 million in exports and threaten up to 111,000 jobs in the state.

For all of Cramer's insistence that Trump has a "long game plan," his new wave of tariffs makes no economic sense. It especially makes no sense for farmers, who currently have a $20 billion trade surplus. That will almost certainly collapse now that foreign countries are slapping reciprocal tariffs on our exports — already, ships laden with U.S. crops are making U-turns in the Pacific as Chinese tariffs go into effect.

Cramer might believe that Trump can negotiate a better trade deal for American farmers. But American farmers already had a terrific deal in international trade, and will now have to hold out for the mythical "better" one that Trump almost certainly will never follow through on — losing billions of dollars in the process. Indeed, Trump himself seems to know this, which is why he frantically rushed to give farmers a $12 billion bailout from his own failing policy.

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Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.