According to the Business roundtable research and U.S. government data, International trade supports an estimated 124,000 jobs in South Dakota and provided almost $ 4 billion in export goods in 2012. State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says much of that is attributed to South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers.
The roundtable report notes that U.S. trade with free trade agreement partner countries led to export growth and since 2002, South Dakota’s export goods to FTA partners increased by 190 percent. Lentsch says that proves the importance of having FTAs in place in order to grow South Dakota’s ag economy.
Lentsch says foreign customers are interested in South Dakota commodities because they’re of the highest quality.
The report also indicates that in 2012, nearly $ 2 billion of South Dakota’s exports or 44 percent went to FTA partners.