Governor, S.D. lawmakers praise signing of USMCA

Noem, Thune, Rounds, Johnson tout legislation as a win for South Dakota

President Donald Trump signed the United State-Canada-Mexico Agreement Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the White House. The legislation contains provisions that proponents say will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade and economic growth in North America. (Submitted Photo)

Gov. Kristi Noem and South Dakota's U.S. lawmakers praised the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Wednesday at the White House, calling it as a step in the right direction for America and South Dakota farmers and producers.

“Each year, our state exports $586 million worth of goods to Canada and $338 million of goods to Mexico," Noem said. "The USMCA rebalances and modernizes the old rules of the road into a 21st century, high-standard trade deal that better serves the interests of South Dakota farmers, ranchers and business people. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders, the USMCA builds the framework that ensures our goods are sold in a marketplace that is fair, open and competitive. This is a win for South Dakota, and I’m grateful for President Trump’s leadership in pulling it across the finish line.”

Proponents of the USMCA said it will rebalance and modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994. The new agreement has been touted as a way to better serve the interests of American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses by encouraging mutually beneficial trade, leading to freer markets and fairer trade.

Canada is expected to ratify the agreement soon, which would bring the new agreement into effect.

“USMCA is the win for producers we’ve been working toward for nearly two years,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, who attended the signing. “South Dakota’s farmers want a level playing field, and that’s exactly what this free trade agreement provides. I was proud to stand by the president during today’s signing of the USMCA, and I look forward to seeing the added jobs and trade opportunities this agreement will bring to our nation’s economy.”


Rounds said he was particularly pleased about the number of South Dakota jobs that would be supported by the new agreement.

“I had the honor to join President Trump at the White House this morning for the signing of the USMCA,” said Rounds. “This new agreement will expand trade opportunities for South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers and manufacturers. Mexico and Canada are two of our most valued trading partners, and signing the USMCA solidifies our partnerships with them. Trade with the two countries supports 37,700 jobs for South Dakotans, so making sure we maintain positive relationships with them is important for our economy. I thank President Trump for inviting me to attend today’s signing, and for his strong support of our ag producers and manufacturers.”

Thune said finally having the agreement signed was a big step forward to opening markets for South Dakota farmers.

“It’s done. After more than a year of GOP and stakeholders pushing Democrats in the House to stop delaying USMCA, the agreement has finally crossed the finish line and been signed into law,” Thune said. “This modernization deal will help open markets for our farmers and ranchers who feed the world.”

In the area of agriculture, the USMCA will eliminate Canada’s milk pricing program in order to give American dairy farmers greater market opportunities and United States poultry producers will have new access for chicken and egg exports and expanded access for turkey exports.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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