Noem, Rounds, Thune attend White House ceremony for new trade agreement with China

After more than a year of a half of an escalating trade war, the United States and China sign an agreement to end the economic conflict.

Gov. Noem, Sen. Rounds, and SD Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal (submitted photo)

That agreement should end up providing a much needed boost to the Midwest farm economy, South Dakota in particular.

Gov. Kristi Noem and South Dakota Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune were at the White House today for the official signing ceremony. Tonight we take a look at what this deal really means.

"Today we take a momentous step, one that has never been taken before with China." said President Donald Trump.

All along the Trump administration has made the argument that the trade war with China was about evening the playing field for trade and not allowing the nation to take advantage of the United States financially.

But the year and a half long time frame of the trade war and the financial toll it's taking on farming is hard to ignore.

According to the Farm Bureau, 13 farming operations in South Dakota filed for bankruptcy over a 12 month period ending in September.
That's a 15% increase over the year before.

This trade deal hopefully stops that bankruptcy trend.

"This is a great day for the people of South Dakota. Agriculture is our number one industry and this phase one agreement with China is going to allow us to access their markets and sell more of our commodities there." South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was at the White House and attending the trade agreement signing ceremony and tells us the last year and a half of uncertainty has now paid off. "For the last 18 months we've been working on these trade agreements. i worked on trade agreements when i was in Congress. They're not easy. i know there's lots of different interests at the table and the fact that this administration has fought for a level playing field for our people and our producers means the world to them."

So what is in this phase trade deal?

According to numbers from the office of the U-S Trade Representative over the next two years China agrees to buy $200 billion in American goods.

Included in that: $80 billion in American manufactured goods, $53 billion in energy purchases and $32 billion in agricultural goods and it's that last part that will hopefully lift the tide for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.

"We're excited about the fact that we'll have the chance to start exporting our agriculture commodities into China." said Governor Noem.