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PHASE ONE: The U.S. has signed phase one of a trade agreement with China.

Dakota lawmakers, ag leaders react to U.S.-China trade deal

One farm group leader called the deal "an encouraging step in the right direction."

The reactions from North Dakota and South Dakota legislators and farm group leaders to the signing of phase one of a trade deal with China range from “extremely pleased” to “hope [it’s] real and not just rhetoric.”

Here’s a quick sampling of some of those responses from around the Dakotas:

Encouraging step

“This is an encouraging step in the right direction that will allow U.S. producers to once again increase exports to China. This is excellent news for South Dakota farmers and ranchers and will get the ball rolling for more trade deals in the near future." Scott VanderWal, president of South Dakota Farm Bureau.

Hoping for opportunities

“There has been a lot of market uncertainty over the last few years, and we’re hoping this deal will provide stability and positive opportunities going forward… I spent the day with a Chinese buyer during our annual spring wheat tour in 2019. They already have interest in our spring wheat, so hopefully this deal will make it easier for them to invest in it.” Dennis Haugen, president of North Dakota Grain Growers Association.

Big for beans

“It’s big for us and for farmers around the state to get beans rolling again… This will hopefully pave the way for the next phase. We know that more issues need to be worked out, but this agreement will hopefully lead to more agreements.”Joe Ericson, a farmer from Wimbledon, N.D., and president of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.

Hope it’s real

“We hope this first phase of the deal is real and not just rhetoric… Until vessels carrying U.S. agricultural products are landing in Chinese ports, I’m going to be holding my breath a bit. Hopefully, this will create the demand we need to move our markets up.” — Mark Watne, president of North Dakota Farmers Union.

Extremely pleased

“I am extremely pleased to see these unjustified trade barriers being removed and market access being enhanced for our agricultural producers, manufacturers and innovators.” Doug Goehring, North Dakota ag commissioner.

Good for producers

“We’ve repeatedly made the case to the Administration about the importance of securing ag purchases as part of any agreement with China, because we need to recapture the Chinese market for crops like soybeans, as well as expand it for products like beef. This phase one agreement is good for our producers and our economy.” — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

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