What phase one of the trade deal means for South Dakota farmers

Local News

DAVISON COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) – On Friday, phase one of a trade deal between the United States and China was announced- so we are finding out what farmers have to say about it.

$40-billion annually over two years- that’s how much money U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said China would buy in American farm products. In a Face Time interview with KELOLAND News, Jerry Schmitz, the executive director of the South Dakota Soybean Association, said that would almost double how much China is already purchasing.

“In the past there were some difficulties getting some of the animals or meats passed into China, and a lot of that was protectionist activities. So now those will be included,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz said the deal would also have a direct benefit for soybean farmers because more soy will be sold for the high-protein diets of those animals.

Matt Bainbridge, a farmer near Ethan, South Dakota, says he is cautiously optimistic about the deal.

“It sounds like a pretty good deal, right now, or at least for the Ag industry,” Bainbridge said.

Of course, Schmitz says it’s going to take awhile for the deal to come back around.

“I’m going to guess one and a half to two years before we really see a good bump in the market,” Schmitz said.

Bainbridge says the deal is good news, though, for farmers after the tough year they’ve had.

“It’s been a rough year, for sure, you know. The market hasn’t been very good for over a year now. But there’s a lot of things that come into play with that too, whether it’s the supply and demand mostly, but I think a trade deal would really be positive right now, it would be kind of a win for farming right now and we kind of need one,” Bainbridge said.

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