Montana gets boost from trade news

Print Article

The impact of trade policy on Montana’s economy has never been more clear than in the last month when three major announcements came out of the Trump White House.

First, and most importantly to Northwest Montana, President Trump ordered a new tariff of up to 24 percent on Canadian softwood lumber.

This has been a necessary and long-overdue step that the U.S. lumber industry has been after for literally decades. Cheap timber supplied at little or no cost to Canadian lumber companies from crown-owned forests has resulted in a massive pricing advantage for Canadian imports. The fact that the Canadians have routinely denied that the subsidy exists just adds insult to injury.

Sens. Daines and Tester have given bipartisan support to the president, with Daines praising Trump for taking “decisive action to put America first” and Tester applauding Trump “for taking this decisive step in our effort to ensure Montana mills are getting a fair price for their quality product.”

Meanwhile, on Friday the Trump administration announced a trade deal with Beijing that will allow U.S. beef exports to China, something that several administrations have failed to bring about. The beef deal, along with other components of the pact, led U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to declare, “This is more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade.”

Probably hyperbole, but certainly a step in the right direction.

As for the last trade policy change announced by President Trump, it is sadly too late for Montana and Flathead County, but it is still instructive on how an engaged White House can create and save jobs.

In late April, President Trump signed an order directing an investigation into whether foreign aluminum poses a threat to U.S. national security.

It’s too late to make a difference to the Columbia Falls Aluminum plant, which has been largely dismantled and on its way to becoming a Superfund cleanup site, but it is an important reminder of how important our natural resources are not just to our economy but to our sovereignty.

Just last year alone, U.S. production of aluminum declined 47 percent as a result of pressure from foreign competition. That has meant not just a loss of lots of high-paying jobs, but also an unhealthy reliance on foreign sources for a vital commodity.

Say what you will about President Trump as a politician, there can be no doubt that in his first four months on the job, he has had a big impact on the economy. In that, we wish him well.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Whitefish City Hall saga successfully completed

May 21, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The city of Whitefish opens for business tomorrow in some pretty nice new digs. The $16 million new brick City Hall and adjoining parking garage — built downtown on the site of the city’s 1917 City ...

Comments

Read More

EDITOR’S 2 CENTS: Wednesday panel puts fake news in spotlight

May 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Daily Inter Lake The truth is I’ve probably written about “fake news” as much as anyone has over the past 10 years, and I’ve been an equal opportunity critic. I’ve blasted conservatives for phony stories about Presi...

Comments

Read More

Montana gets boost from trade news

May 14, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The impact of trade policy on Montana’s economy has never been more clear than in the last month when three major announcements came out of the Trump White House. First, and most importantly to Nort...

Comments

Read More

EDITOR’S 2 CENTS: Trump plays the outsider card; insiders go bananas

May 13, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Daily Inter Lake Yes, I was shocked that President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, but not for the same reasons as the howling national media and the hypocritical Democratic establishment. I had long ago con...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2017 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X