U.S. Senator Mike Rounds says he's paying attention to how conversations around the North American Free Trade Agreement may impact South Dakota's agriculture industry.
Trade representatives from the United States, Mexico, and Canada met earlier this week in Mexico City. The third round of talks between the three nations is set for later this month in Ottawa. Rounds says the President has talked with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and industry leaders about trade.
Rounds has heard from producers statewide about opening new markets. He says a lot of farmers were in favor of the now-scrapped Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"There might be some minor technical issues but for the vast majority of the stuff it was really pretty positive...let's get it going and get these trade agreements in effect. That's a huge part of the world economy and it's going to be a growing part of the world's economy. And, strategically, it would have given us better relations with a lot of the countries around China. They'd rather trade with us than with China. And, they think we would treat them more fairly then what China might treat them," Rounds says.
Rounds says President Trump's decision to remove the U.S. from the TPP is within his powers as chief executive. Pacific Rim nations like Malaysia and Singapore look to work with Australia, Canada, and others to maintain the pact without U.S. participation.
Rounds says President Trump plans to make separate one-on-one trade agreements with many of these nations. He says those agreements will take longer and may not provide the same benefits as the TPP.