A report from the US Chamber of Commerce shows $129-million dollars in South Dakota exports are threatened by retaliatory tariffs from trading partners.
In addition to being an agriculture heavy state, South Dakota also has around 1,000 manufacturers.
The US chamber of commerce is coming out against the tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration.
South Dakota Chamber of Commerce president David Owen says they haven’t taken a position on the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump. However, he says the chamber has a long track record of supporting free and fair trade.
“Flawed as it is, the system that exists has worked to the advantage of the countries involved in trade,” Owen says. “if there’s a way to improve those trading agreements, that’s a separate issue. I have heard from a number of manufacturers a general concern about the future, not specific tariff’s.”
According to the US chamber report, $86 million of South Dakota meat exports, alone, are slated for tariffs by Mexico.
Glenn Muller is the executive director of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. He says the proposed tariffs against pork are very concerning.
“We are hopeful that something can be worked out so that we don’t see any additional impacts,” Muller says. “We’ve already seen, based on the rumor, tremendous drop in the markets. We’re hoping that this can be resolved relatively soon so that we don’t see additional setbacks in the market, because our producers are working at a very minimal margin and a lot of them are in a negative profit margins at this point with a depressed market.”
Muller says there are around 900 pork producers in South Dakota, who produce around 2.5 million head of hogs annually.
Muller says 27 percent of the pork product in the United States are exported. He says anything to jeopardize those exports would impact the industry.