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March 09, 2018 10:02 PM

Thune, Rounds, Noem React To Trump's Tariffs

Tariffs are a hot topic in the headlines these days after President Donald Trump put them on steel and aluminum this week. Canada and Mexico are exempt.

Now, one of the highest-ranking members of Congress, South Dakota Senator John Thune, is sharing his thoughts with us on the topic, and he isn't shying away from voicing opposition. 

"I'm not a fan," Thune said. "I appreciate the president's desire to ensure that strategic industries like steel and aluminum are protected if you will, but at the same time I think the way he's going about it is the wrong approach. My fear is that we end up in a trade war."

Which, Thune says, could involve KELOLAND.

"I think that the potential for retaliation to be directed at agricultural commodities that we raise or grow here in South Dakota is very real," Thune said. 

China is just one example. 

"A country like China, which is a small importer into this country when it comes to steel, is a big market for a lot of our agricultural products, and we're already, they're already talking about retaliating for example on sorghum," Thune said.

South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem makes a similar argument.

"Some of these countries that have been flooding our markets with steel and aluminum buy a lot of soybeans from us. They buy a lot of our commodity bushels every single year, and we don't want them to retaliate against our products," Noem said.

Friday Noem also brought up other developments with trade.

"We're currently in the middle of renegotiating some trade agreements with other countries, and that's always the mechanism that I would prefer to use," Noem said.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds released this statement:

“While I appreciate the President’s attempt to bolster the U.S. steel and aluminum industries, I remain concerned about the negative consequences this policy change could generate. Producers in South Dakota are rightly concerned about disruptions in the trade market. If other countries decide to retaliate, it may impact our sales of corn, wheat, soybeans, livestock and other commodities during an already volatile time in the ag economy.
“Additionally, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am concerned about the tariff’s impact on our relationships with our allies throughout the globe. Maintaining strong relationships with our allies is vital as we seek to defend our nation and promote our shared democratic values and freedoms. Imposing tariffs must not alienate key partners that play a pivotal role in our national defense and international stability.”

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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A word was omitted in a prior version of this story



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