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March 09, 2018 05:25 PM

Local Farmer/Businessman, Noem React To Tariffs

Renner, SD

The world is reacting to President Donald Trump's tariffs on aluminum and steel.

The move is rattling U.S. allies- and sparking fears of a trade war.  

China calls the tariffs "a serious attack," and South Korea says it will respond as well. Retaliation against U.S. goods is likely, with many American industries caught in the crossfire. Farmers here in KELOLAND in particular could be collateral damage since America exports most of what it grows.

Dihl Grohs of Renner is a South Dakota farmer, rancher, and businessman. On Friday KELOLAND News caught up with him at the test facility for HydroGreen, a company he founded. Congresswoman Kristi Noem was also there taking a look at the facility.

Grohs produces around 8,000 pounds of feed every day in Wessington Springs- this is his HydroGreen test facility in Renner. He says the new tariffs from the president could impact him.

"It would possibly hurt our business, because we use a lot of steel in our products, but, just, we just have to do what we have to do," Grohs says.

But he does not criticize the White House. 

"I'm cautiously optimistic that Mr. Trump, President Trump and his people know what they're doing," Grohs said. "And I don't know enough about it that I could criticize what they're doing." 

Along with other members of Congress, Noem signed a letter sharing concerns about tariffs. Now they tariffs are official.

"I would have preferred to see him use other options first. We need to be careful that we don't get a retaliation from China specifically and other countries against our commodity groups," Noem said. "We're currently in the middle of renegotiating some trade agreements with other countries."

One of those is NAFTA- Noem says that's her preferred route. As far as how the tariffs impact South Dakota, she says it's to be determined.

"We have to wait and see," Noem said. "We import a lot of steel and aluminum from Canada, so I was glad to see an exemption from the White House that they were not going to be putting tariffs from that country."

Senator Mike Rounds released this statement:

“While I appreciate the president’s attempt to bolster the U.S. steel and aluminum industries, I remain concerned about the negative consequences this policy change could generate. Producers in South Dakota are rightly concerned about disruptions in the trade market. If other countries decide to retaliate, it may impact our sales of corn, wheat, soybeans, livestock and other commodities during an already volatile time in the ag economy.
“Additionally, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am concerned about the tariff’s impact on our relationships with our allies throughout the globe. Maintaining strong relationships with our allies is vital as we seek to defend our nation and promote our shared democratic values and freedoms. Imposing tariffs must not alienate key partners that play a pivotal role in our national defense and international stability.”

We're talking to Senator John Thune about the issue as well Friday night. Hear from him on KELOLAND News at 10. 

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