Threats of a potential trade war spurred by the recently imposed tariffs continue to dominate the headlines and cause concern among many across North Missouri.

Congressman Sam Graves

I am not a fan of tariffs but I am a fan of free trade. However, free trade must be fair and that hasn’t necessarily been the case in several of these markets.

Just look at China, for example. Their theft of technology and intellectual property coupled with the manipulation of their currency is what got this whole thing going. For far too long, we have gotten the raw end of the deal from China and I think we are now starting to get their attention.

Other countries, such as the European Union, are looking to work out their own deals with the United States, including on important commodities like soybeans. Hopefully, this forces other countries, like China, to the table.

Last week, I told Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network that the President is playing the “long game” to get better trade deals. Unfortunately, the “long game” is a much tougher game to play when you’re looking at rising steel prices and lower soybean prices in the short term.

While many are nervous, and the headlines don’t calm the nerves, many of the folks I talk to in North Missouri want to stick it out. They say they are tired of the U.S. getting the raw deal. I understand that sentiment.

The bottom line is that farmers want access to markets, not a hand out, and they want those markets to be on a level playing field. It will take negotiation to get that level playing field. It’s my hope that we will see long-term gain from the President’s policies and, as I have been doing from the beginning, I will continue to advise the Administration on what folks in North Missouri think about actions directly affecting their bottom line.