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TPP Proceeds Without U.S.—Where Are Trade Deals Thune/Rounds/Noem Said They’d Work On?

A year and a day ago, Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Kristi Noem all said they looked forward to working with the Trump Administration to craft new international trade deals to make up for whatever South Dakota farmers and other businesses would miss out on due to Trump’s swift withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

Thune said, “I look forward to working with the Trump administration to pursue new trade deals that open markets for South Dakota products, especially our agriculture products, and ensure that American producers have the ability to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace.”

Rounds said, “I am a longtime supporter of free and fair trade that benefits South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers and manufacturers. The new administration has said it will seek to negotiate better trade deals for American manufacturers and producers. I support that effort and any effort that would improve our ability to trade South Dakota goods and services around the world.”

And Noem said, “With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the U.S., properly negotiated trade agreements can open new opportunities for American farmers, workers and families. I look forward to working with the Trump administration on trade agreements, healthcare and economic policies, and tax reform efforts that expand job creation, enable upward mobility, and build prosperity for South Dakotans from all walks of life” [Dana Ferguson, “SD Delegates on Trump’s Order to Withdraw from TPP,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.01.23].

One year later, the same day that Trump enacted tariffs that say, “Let’s trade less!” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “Let’s trade more!” and announced that he has successfully negotiated a trade deal among Canada and the ten other remaining TPP participants. In the intervening year, Thune, Rounds, and Noem appear to have done no work with the Trump Administration to forge any of the bilateral deals that Trump is supposedly interested in with anyone we snubbed in the TPP.

Current assessments agree with what Thune, Rounds, and Noem said last year—being left out of TPP puts South Dakota farmers at a disadvantage. Wheat growers are nervous:

Japan imports, on average, 3.1 million metric tons of U.S. wheat annually. After full implementation of the new TPP, the Asian country’s tariffs on Canadian and Australian wheat would decline by about $65 a ton, the wheat groups said.

“That would put U.S. wheat producers at a total price disadvantage of more than $200 million per year from TPP alone,” U.S. Wheat Director of Policy Ben Conner said. “As the agricultural community warned when the president made the announcement, withdrawing from TPP was shortsighted and unnecessary, and now U.S. wheat farmers could take the hit” [Tony Dreibus, “3 Big Things Today, January 24,” Successful Farming, 2018.01.24].

Ditto U.S. ranchers:

Kent Baucus, who oversees international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said that withdrawing from TPP has become a missed opportunity to gain better access to growing markets. “As we now enter a pivotal round of NAFTA negotiations, the last thing we need is to take a step backwards in our relationships with Canada and Mexico,” Baucus said [Chris Clayton, “U.S. Raises Tariffs as TPP Countries Strike a Deal,” The Progressive Farmer, 2018.01.23].

We already produce (and throw away) more food than we can eat. If Thune, Rounds, and Noem can’t follow through on their words and get Il Duce to maintain our competitive access to global markets, we’re going to have to buy and eat all of our wheat and beef and produce ourselves… and the only way that will happen is if there’s more of us—i.e., if we let more immigrants in to help us eat all that bounty.


  1. jerry 2018-01-24 17:43

    John T. also asks the question about what the stooges are doing and what have they done regarding anything for South Dakota. These three are AWOL and should be charged with desertion. I say we court-martial the South Dakota roypublican party and send Tim in to get something done for our state. Impanel ranchers who have been beaten about pretty good with current standings and small farmers as well to pass judgement with a strong vote for change.

  2. mike from iowa 2018-01-24 18:29

    Wait yer turn, Jerry. Dangit there is still 18% of the wealth produced last year the 1% hasn’t seized, yet. When they get theirs (and yours and mine) there will be plenty left for the rest. Patience. Rome wasn’t sacked in a day.

  3. jerry 2018-01-24 19:19

    What was interesting to me was that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pulled a stunner today regarding the new TPP without trump. When the smoke clears, the deals that the three stooges would get would be pennies on the dollar for future deals. The US is a huge market that is for sure, but we can just as easily be a failed market regarding world trade for our commodities. Our agriculture and all of the business that are supported by our agriculture, are in serious trouble. Take a look at where we are presently in South Dakota and then take a look at our futures. trump wants to get rid of NAFTA and the stooges think that is a great idea. You can tell that by the way they pass everything that bonehead puts on the table. Krebs says that she supports bankrupting ag producers as well with her blind support for trump.

  4. jerry 2018-01-24 19:32

    Wall Street went wild today and took back early losses because of Canada… What?? Canada saved the day!! While we dither with Sessions and the rest of the belly button lookers, the real profits are going to me made on the stuff we should be growing while developing other products to go with it. Rope, soap, paper the sky is literally the limit. The entire nation of Canada is set to legalize! So then you would have everything north of the border US border with Canada, including Alaska, in a most excellent state of mind.

    Toss the bums out and let us work together to find trade deals that work for us all to include our Mother.

  5. Debbie 2018-01-24 20:24

    The three stooges are too busy lining their pockets to worry about South Dakota – Montana is sitting pretty with the new cattle deal,feedlots, and meat packing deal. This will also give a boon to the farming community as well because corn, oats, and hay will need to increase to feed out the cattle.

    Why is it that South Dakota continually does absolutely nothing but make outrageous laws ????????? Montana also became the first state to guarantee net neutrality——
    Tester made a deal with verizon to continue rural cell service in Montana , Did any of the Government here make a deal to ensure cell service in rural SD ?

    Why do the people of SD just sit around and pay all these people who bring no benefits to SD ? SD is an anomaly of nothingness

  6. David Newquist 2018-01-24 21:23

    Global news services noted that TPP nations began negotiations right after Trump pulled out, so Trudeau’s announcement was anticipated. There have also been realignments with NAFTA, of which TPP is part of. There are rumors that Mexico is working on dropping the U.S. as its major supplier of corn and making a pact with Argentina, but little actual activity is reported on that front, It looks more as if the NAFTA nations are making contingencies in case Trump pulls out of NAFTA. Almost everything Trump has done on trade has inflicted damage on the U.S.

  7. jerry 2018-01-24 21:23

    Geesh Debbie, you’re pointing out the fact that Senator Tester is a Democrat and that Governor Bullock is also a Democrat. It looks like farmers and ranchers here are happy to be led around by the stooges. They could change it if they wanted to though. First off would get rid of the sorry stock that we call the legislative body. Dead weight like Goodwin, Jensen, Bad haircut Al, dredged from the ditches of Aberdeen right along with Tapioca puddin. Then Krebs and Opie gotta go as well. Put Tim in as well as Billie and we could actually start having nice things again.

  8. jerry 2018-01-24 21:34

    trump may be a conservationist by accident. With anticipation of such huge excess of corn and crops with no one to purchase, maybe we could bring back the soil banks. This would improve our water quality by leaps and bounds. Hunting would be back to the day when the wetlands and the shelter belts were teaming with game. This would take the corruption out of breaking ground that should never be broken to get an ag base for failure. At least the producer would be on a parity like it was. In the old days, when this was in place, the complaint was that young farmers could not get started. Well, here we are today with the same thing. Just as well be able to hunt and drink good water while fishing in those wetlands.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-25 06:25

    Key phrase at the top of David’s comment: “TPP nations began negotiations right after Trump pulled out….” A competent President and a competent Congressional delegation would have taken action immediately to remedy the damage done by withdrawing from TPP. Trump, Thune, Rounds, and Noem have let us coast downhill into disconnection and distrust in a global economy that demands connection and trust.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-25 06:29

    Jerry makes a relevant point about John Tsitrian’s economic commentary that we should be thinking about in Pierre. A big part of our current budget shortfall is, supposedly, our lagging sales tax collections, which in turn come in large part, supposedly, from our sagging ag economy, which comes at a time when the rest of the economy continued to rise through 2017 on the inertia of the Obama recovery. Our Congressional delegation should thus be all the more laser-focused on pushing trade deals that would help raise prices for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. Yet they did nothing on that front and got Trump to do nothing on that front in 2017. Income tax cuts don’t do jack for farmers if the farmers don’t have trade partners from whom to get income for their products.

  11. Debbie 2018-01-25 09:15

    Jerry actually Daines a Republican made the ag agreements. Montana Republicans for the most part are decent human beings with the exception of Gianforte and Zinke . South Dakota does not have what most consider Republicans – what South Dakota has is a cesspool of Libertarians hiding behind the name Republican. This state is also unique in that it gets mentioned more than any other state for its corruption

  12. Loren 2018-01-25 10:42

    I you watch anything but Fox Nooze, you come to realize that the U.S. is being cast adrift. Germany has taken over as the global leader. Canada is being looked to as the N. American leader. Mexico has just about had it with the Trumpsters and is shopping alternative markets. In the mean time, the cost of washing machines is going up and solar panels that help the up and coming green industry (read: JOBS) are being single out for additional taxes. This is just the beginning. Meanwhile, at the coal mines in the U.S., millions of jobs are being created as steel mills reopen and the power companies revert to cheap coal! (????)

  13. Tom 2018-02-23 17:29

    When are societies going to “WAKE UP”? The rich/elite have, since recorded history started, have stolen the products of the people that have produced them and it is “NO” different today. They continue to manipulate the prices pitting the grain producers against the animal producers. They know how many animals are out there and how many acres are being planted of each grain. The USDA tells them so. They know it all and rape the producers so they have to go into debt each year just to stay in business. The commodity prices are all controlled and it isn’t for the benefit of the producers! It isn’t just food either, all naturally produced products from food to wood to metals… you name it! The theft will continue until the producer put a stop to it and put a price on “THEIR” products… but still to difficult to herd chickens! So I don’t hold to much hope on trade when the producers always seemed to get screwed in the end!

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