- Associated Press - Friday, February 22, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Gov. Kristi Noem said Friday the White House should move quickly to resolve trade disputes, saying trade wars with countries like China have “devastated” her state.

Politico reported Noem’s comments Friday at a conference it sponsored in Washington, D.C., alongside the Republican Governors Association meeting. The former congresswoman said trade wars are hurting not only her state’s dominant farm industry but also other sectors of the economy including main street businesses.

Kristin Wileman, Noem’s spokeswoman, said in an email to The Associated Press that Noem is “supportive and thankful” for President Donald Trump’s efforts to address trade inequities and the governor will be talking with him about ways to open markets and support South Dakota producers.

“South Dakota producers and manufacturers deserve trade agreements that work, but they also need market certainty,” Wileman said. “Since trade negotiations began, South Dakota producers have seen a steep drop in commodity and livestock prices linked to trade policies.

Politico reported that Noem said she believes countries like China haven’t been trading fairly and that the Trump administration is trying to address that, but that the dispute has gone on too long. She said low commodity prices linked to tariff wars are “driving a lot of family businesses out of business.”

Soybean farmers have been particularly affected by tariff wars. South Dakota farmers last year produced a record-size soybean crop, totaling 257 million bushels, according to federal Agriculture Department data.

The Trump administration and Chinese negotiators on Friday resumed high-level talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute that centers around U.S. allegations that China steals trade secrets and forces American companies to hand over technology. Trump is set to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports if the two sides can’t reach a deal by March 2.

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