John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota agriculture and political leaders offered mixed reactions Tuesday, July 24, to the Trump administration's plans for up to $12 billion in aid meant to help farmers weather a storm of international trade disputes .
BISMARCK — North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson will be among the House farm bill negotiators looking to smooth over differences with the Senate, leaders of their respective parties announced Wednesday, July 18. "I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working to bring the maximum benefits to North Dakota farmers in the bill," Cramer said in a statement.
BISMARCK — A new report called the North Dakota Mill and Elevator's gain-sharing program "financially feasible" more than a year after state lawmakers considered eliminating the employee bonus amid widespread budget cuts. The Eide Bailly report laid out three scenarios in which the program was responsible for annual earnings increases of between $2.5 million and $5.9 million, well above its average yearly expense of $1.7 million. It warned cutting it could lead to lower productivity and morale as well as higher turnover costs.
BISMARCK — Randy Richards considers himself an optimist. After all, the farmer lives near the town of Hope in eastern North Dakota. But a flurry of trade news in recent months has Richards worried. It reached a crescendo last week, when China imposed retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. products, including 25 percent on soybeans, one of the crops Richards grows.
BISMARCK — China slapped tariffs on American goods early Friday, July 6, ramping up concerns over international trade in North Dakota. The penalties came in response to $34 billion worth of tariffs the Trump administration placed on Chinese products. The New York Times reported that China's list included soybeans, a major North Dakota export. After months of threats between the two countries, Friday's tariffs are the first to actually go into effect, said North Dakota Trade Office Executive Director Simon Wilson. "We are in a trade war," he said.
FARGO - Calling Sen. Heidi Heitkamp a “liberal Democrat,” President Donald Trump lent a hand to North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer’s campaign in a rambunctious speech Wednesday, June 27, at Scheels Arena in Fargo. Trump touched on the hotly contested Senate race early in his 71-minute speech to an adoring crowd of thousands that packed the arena. He criticized Heitkamp’s record on tax cuts, health care, immigration and abortion.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved $4.6 million in grants for conservation projects Tuesday, June 5. The 13 approved projects represented the 11th round of grant funding since the Outdoor Heritage Fund was created in 2013. The last four rounds have awarded less than $2 million each. "There are ample grant funds there for conservation projects," said Jim Melchior, chairman of the Outdoor Heritage Fund Advisory Board, which recommends projects to the three-member Industrial Commission.
BISMARCK — Rep. Kevin Cramer highlighted farmers' anxiety over the Trump administration's trade moves Wednesday, May 16, but the North Dakota Republican expressed support for the long-term goal of balancing relations with China. Cramer, an ally of President Donald Trump who is running for U.S. Senate this year, testified during a hearing held by the U.S. Trade Representative's office on proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs are in response to China's "unfair trade practices," the office said.
BISMARCK—Amid fears of a looming trade war with China and efforts to adjust the agreement linking North American economies, Simon Wilson settled into his new role as head of the North Dakota Trade Office last month. "It's been a whirlwind," he said in an interview this week. "But for me, it's a lot of opportunity ... There's a lot of need for kind of that advocacy."
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved a $24.7 million rail and grain storage expansion project for the state Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks Tuesday, April 17. The project includes the addition of about 18,000 feet of track near the state-owned mill and the construction of four 250,000-bushel grain bins. Vance Taylor, the mill's president and general manager, said the project would be paid for using funds generated by mill profits.