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Egyptian Traders Suspend Talks with Saba Due to South Dakota’s Coronavirus Surge

Representative Michael Saba (D-9/Hartford) has been working to expand South Dakota’s access to international markets, with little support from the rest of state government. But now Governor Kristi Noem’s allowing the coronavirus pandemic to run rampant has sabotaged Rep. Saba’s efforts to build our ag trade with Egypt, because the Egyptian delegates he’s been working with are afraid of our outbreak:

“The group that we’ve been working on for some time which was scheduled to be in from Egypt has now had to cancel because the headlines in Egypt are that South Dakota is one of the leading states with the COVID virus,” Saba said on KELO Radio’s It’s Your Agri-Business with Bill Zortman Friday.

Saba has been in trade talks with Egypt for months. Egypt relies on imported foodstuffs like soybeans and corn to maintain its food supply.

Saba suggested the canceled meeting was a consequence of South Dakota’s hands-off approach to the pandemic.

“We need to keep our businesses open as much as we can, but now we’re paying later. Because [there are] other states now that these people from Egypt could still go into” [Carter Woodiel, “Pandemic Puts S.D. Trade Talks on Hold,” KELO Radio, 2020.10.23].

Noem can keep inviting gun-toting ideologues and other refugees from civic life to South Dakota, but her failure to address the coronavirus pandemic tells serious traders like Representative Saba’s Egyptian acquaintances that South Dakota is no place to do business. That’s the kind of failure that will lastingly depress South Dakota’s economic development in a more risk-averse global economy.


  1. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-10-24 12:12

    Leslie, Egyptian traders and anyone else looking at South Dakota’s rapid climb up that chart in October would be understandably scared of coming here.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-10-24 12:16

    It’s hard to do business with people who think you’re creating an unsafe environment.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-10-24 12:22

    Like Cory said, but, Noem Nothing is acting as if she knows everything, not unlike another stable genius in the kremlin annex. Force her to stay in house until she comes up with a scientifically viable plan to save lives. She is, allegedly afterall, your guv, not drumpf’s campaign surrogate.

  4. jerry 2020-10-24 12:29

    Ah, back to the good old days of Obama “”I have been a long-time supporter of lifting the agriculture trade restrictions limiting South Dakota producers’ ability to sell their products to Cuba,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.” Wonder whatever happened to this miserable weasel called Vladimir Thune?

    We have trading opportunities 90 miles a way from CONUS. Maybe when we get a new senate leader, we an pursue trade agreements that will keep farmers making some money and working instead of sitting around the coffee shops collecting a check.

  5. jerry 2020-10-24 12:43

    Over 10,000 trump virus cases in South Dakota now, thanks republican legislators.

  6. Chris S. 2020-10-24 13:45

    I can’t blame Egypt. Who would want to go to a plague nest to negotiate a deal that might fall apart later anyway when the population was too decimated by Covid to deliver the goods?

  7. Debbo 2020-10-24 17:46

    First, kudos to Saba for taking the initiative by trying to do something that SD really needs and Kruel Kristi has abysmally failed at.

    Second, another of her abysmal failures has sabotaged Saba’s genuine efforts.

    Third, South Dakotans continue to drop like flies from C-19 while Kruel Kristi abandons them to chase around other states. She’s campaigning for her future while disregarding yours.

    Dang, SD, your governor is poison to you. (But Oten likes her.)

  8. jerry 2020-10-24 19:15

    trump just green lights Egypt to attack the dam in Ethiopia

    So, South Dakota is probably not out anything anyway as long as trump is president. We can continue to get those big subsidy’s while we sit on that sack of seeds.

  9. mike from iowa 2020-10-24 20:55

    Jim Stafford .

    Gotta plant the wildwood flower before you can sit on that sack of seeds as the law searches your farm, Jerry.

  10. jerry 2020-10-24 21:04

    Nailed it sir! Think of how much further our economy will be when this all gets legal. I think I would say to hell with Egypt at that time.

  11. grudznick 2020-10-25 09:42

    This morning at the monthly Conservatives with Common Sense brunch I will deliver the opening rant as a scathing castigation of Governor Noem, entitled “Why on earth did you appoint Mr. Saba to be in charge of negotiating trade deals with Egypt? He can’t stay awake during the sessions!”

    (remember only 3 of you per table, please, and wear your masks when not eating or speaking at the podium, and keep the spittle down)

  12. jerry 2020-10-25 09:53

    Representative Saba is on the right track, he is just a little early in pulling the trigger. See, we cannot accomplish much, if anything while the two pandemics rage. The trump virus and trump hisownself, both of these will need be vaccinated against, root and branch, in order for meaningful trade deals to grow the economy.

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