There's been plenty of criticism — from me and some farm groups — for President Donald Trump over his trade war with China. I think the criticism is warranted.
But North Dakota and South Dakota farm groups and politicians recently praised him for the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada and for year-round sales of E15 ethanol.
Here's a sampling of the applause:
• South Dakota Farmers Union called the Oct. 9 announcement by the Trump administration to open the fuel market to higher volumes E15 "a win for farmers, consumers and the environment."
• South Dakota Farm Bureau said the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement "was a hard-fought win and we commend the administration for all the efforts to solidify the trading relationships we have with our North American neighbors. We applaud the administration for a job well done."
• North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said the ethanol decision was "good news for corn growers, ethanol producers and consumers across North Dakota and the nation. … these significant policy changes will provide an expanded market for growers and increased stability for the industry. We thank President Trump for this action and look forward to an expeditious EPA rule-making process to allow E15 sales to begin next summer."
• Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said the ethanol announcement was "good news" for North Dakota's corn and ethanol producers. "I have always been an advocate for reducing regulation that prohibits market demand if there's no sound basis for doing so."
• Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Trump's E15 move is "common-sense, true win-win solution."
• Troy Knecht, South Dakota Corn Growers Association president, said the ethanol announcement was "a big win for farmers and rural America. … South Dakota farmers have advocated for year-round sales, and we're grateful the end of this outdated regulation is near."
I'll add my kudos to the list, too. Thank you, Mr. President.