Trade

A raw steak, January 2012.
Taryn/FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new trade agreement announced Friday could mean more Montana beef makes its way to European consumers. 

A bowl of hummus is surround by pieces of pita bread.
Public Domain

Americans’ growing love of hummus and other plant-based proteins has helped make Montana the number one producer of chickpeas and lentils in the country. But Big Sky farmers are watching politics in India and international trade disputes play out before going all in on a pulse crop powered love affair.

Wheat and barley fields south of Manhattan, Montana, April 27, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Farming is always a gamble in Montana, but this year a new tariff on wheat and an undefined trade deal with Japan means more uncertainty for farmers as they plant this spring. President Trump discussed agricultural trade negotiations last week with the prime minister of Japan — Montana’s largest importer of wheat. The talk comes two years after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Some Montana farmers are hoping to hear some good news on trade as President Donald Trump brings his campaign to Billings tonight.

The governors of Montana and other western states are meeting Monday with Canadian leaders to talk about economic development between the two countries.

The meeting between state and provincial leaders comes as the U.S. and Canada are battling over softwood lumber trade.

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.

Lumber industry workers in Montana gathered in the capitol this afternoon to update the governor on the health of their businesses amidst a trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada.