Sen. Steve Daines has been a Champion for the Agricultural Industries in Montana and the Nation since he took office in 2015.
Recently, there was an article in the Billings Gazette that, in my opinion, allowed 3 democratic, non-Montana Stockgrowers Association members to take cheap shots at the sitting Senator and his accomplishments, along with attacking the oldest livestock association in the State of Montana.
I also noticed that contradicting information was provided to show the author of the article wanted it to be fair and balanced. I feel there was not enough said about the hard work and steadfastness that Daines has shown to the Agricultural Industry in this article.
I am writing this op-ed to set the facts straight on the work on trade agreements that I, as an officer of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, worked with Daines on.
To quote our Vice President Mike Pence “You are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts.” What Ben Peterson, Herb Karst and Rae Peppers stated in the article about Daines just isn’t so.
The facts are that Daines did deliver meat, which I provided, to China’s Premier and that act was the start of opening beef trade between the United States of America and China which had not allowed USA beef to be exported to China in 13 years.
For the last three years the United States, with the help of Daines, has entered us into four new beef trade agreements.
Daines was a big part of working on the new beef trade agreement with Japan, which lowered the tariffs so US beef was competitive with other countries in the world.
Daines assisted with getting more beef into the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle program in Europe.
Daines helped with the rewriting of the NAFTA trade agreement which became the USMCA agreement with Canada and Mexico.
All of these agreements have helped to market billions of dollars of US beef, a lot of Montana cattle are included in these agreements.
JD.com’s China Beef deal is on hold but the sale of US beef to China is rapidly growing and will grow each year. There are other Chinese companies that have shown an interest in US Montana beef, also.
Agriculture, along with the beef industry, is the largest industry in Montana. I encourage Ben Peterson, Herb Karst and Rae Peppers to participate in trade agreements and become part of the solution rather than sitting in the background making untruthful and disparaging remarks.
Fred D Wacker is president of Montana Stockgrowers Association