Trade deals important for farmers


Trade has become a hot topic in South Dakota. Farmers and ranchers have suffered great losses due to the ongoing trade disputes.

The ongoing trade talks are a top priority for South Dakota’s Congressional delegation, including the man who read the entire farm bill — Congressman Dusty Johnson.

From the farm fields of South Dakota to our nation’s capitol, trade is all the talk.

“That is our top legislative priority in the South Dakota Congressional office,” Rep. Dusty Johnson said.

Congressman Dusty Johnson says he supports the president’s goal of strengthening our trade deals to make certain America is on a level playing field.

The president has already brokered deals with Canada and Mexico called USMCA trade agreement, but Congress still needs to approve it.

“Some people act like this is just NAFTA 2.0 it is much much bigger deal than that, NAFTA was a good trade deal, but it was 25 years old; USMCA is quite a bit better, how much is this value, how much is this difference worth, that’s 176,000 new jobs for America and $68 billion in new GDP growth that is a massive deal,” Johnson said.

But the USMCA trade agreement is being held up right now, awaiting action in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Democrats.

“We got to have speaker Pelosi put it on the floor and we have to have Congress ratify it this fall,” Johnson said.

Johnson says the bigger deal that needs to be worked out is a trade agreement with China.

“We have the president’s back, we understand what he’s trying to do, he’s strategically taking the right approach, we got to keep pressure on the Chinese to make sure we get a deal that’s going to work,” Johnson said.

Democrats say the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) must be reopened to add tougher enforcement provisions — something the administration says is unnecessary.

To help alleviate some of the pain producers are feeling due to the ongoing trade disputes, the U.S. Department of Ag released a new round of financial assistance, $16 billion, for farmers and producers called the Market Facilitation Program.

To learn more about that and how to apply for assistance click here

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