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Breaking down how the 2020 election will impact farmers

As the 2020 Presidential Election looms, many farmers that have been impacted by Trump’s tensions with China are shifting their support to former Vice President Joe Biden. Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: All right, well, let's talk now about how the farmer is thinking about this election. We've heard the president talk a lot about America's farmers, working for that constituency. And joining us now to talk about all of this ahead of the election, we're joined by Blake Hurst. He's the President of the Missouri Farm Bureau. Blake, thanks so much for joining the program.

So tomorrow we have the election. How are you and your members thinking about this outcome, and what do you want to see done once we get through this election?

BLAKE HURST: Well, we're certainly-- I think farmers are in a pretty good mood. We've had a good fall harvest as far as weather goes. Yields mostly have been good, and we've seen some real strength in our exports, particularly to China. So we're looking at a little bounce in harvest prices here, which is sort of unprecedented. So I think farmers are about as happy as we ever are.

JULIE HYMAN: Blake, it's Julie here.


JULIE HYMAN: It's good to see you. You know, Blake, we've talked to you for, oh, the past couple years now about the trade situation and President Trump's moves on that front. What's your grade for his performance? Because it feels like broadly on the trade war that not a heck of a lot has moved forward between the United States and China.

BLAKE HURST: Oh, I think I'd have to give him an incomplete. We've taken a-- we've changed our approach to dealing with the Chinese. We've seen two years of almost no exports to China. This year has been stronger after the signing of the phase-one agreement, but we're nowhere near China reaching the commitments they made in the phase-one agreement. And much of the strength we've seen this year, we're a little bit better than we were three years ago on exports but not a great deal. So maybe he's made a difference. Maybe he's improved things for the long haul, but it is way too soon to tell.

JULIE HYMAN: So on that front, Blake, do you have confidence that if he wins, he can take it over the finish line? And if he doesn't win, you know, Joe Biden seems to have given some indications that he will also be somewhat tough on China. Do you think he can take it over the finish line?

BLAKE HURST: Well, I think it's possible to be-- to ask for changes in our relationship with China, to be, quote, unquote, "tough on China" without putting in place tariffs that immediately lead to retaliatory tariffs aimed at agriculture, and that's why we've seen.

So I think both a new administration, whether it's a second term of Trump or a first term of Biden, have the opportunity to continue to call China to account for the way that they treated intellectual property and other problems without totally destroying agriculture trade, and I hope there's a middle ground somewhere there that we can reach.