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September 12, 2017 www.broadcasteronline.com Trade Agreements Vital To South Dakota’s Economy By Sen. Mike Rounds Free and fair trade plays an important role in the American economy. It not only leads to more jobs and higher wages, it allows American producers to promote and sell their goods across the globe by leveling the playing field with other competitors. Our farm economy, in particular, benefits from trade agreements. As our number one industry in South Dakota, I continue to promote and prioritize trade agreements that benefit our farmers and ranchers. I continue to hear from South Dakota producers and ag groups who are concerned about the future of trade agreements. At Dakotafest, the State Fair and other events across the state last month, producers repeatedly told me that opening up new markets for American exports will greatly benefit their operations. Foreign markets absorb approximately 20 percent of all U.S. agricultural production today, which significantly contributes to the overall health of the farm economy. The economic benefits of agricultural exports also extend to businesses in rural communities, while overseas farm sales help to buoy a wide array of industries linked to agriculture, including transportation, processing and farm input suppliers. In recent months, President Trump has indicated his desire to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and modify – if not completely withdraw from – our trade agreement with South Korea. Both of these agreements benefit South Dakota producers because we have no tariffs or limits on the quantity or value of products that can be imported and exported with countries such as Mexico and Canada. In 2016, American farmers sent $20.5 billion worth of exports to Canada and $17.8 billion worth of exports to Mexico, which is the largest market for U.S. corn and soymeal, the second largest market for U.S. soybeans and the third largest market for U.S. beef. Additionally, South Korea is one of our top export markets, with $6.2 billion in ag exports last year alone. We all want the best deal we can get, and I support the president’s goal to make the best possible trade deals that will improve America’s ability to export products. However, simply withdrawing from long-standing trade agreements without a similar structure in place would cause significant harm to South Dakota’s producers, and I would strongly oppose such action. Earlier this year, I sent a letter to the new U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, to encourage him to maintain strong relationships with our allies in NAFTA and work to open up new markets around the world for American ag products. I also met with him prior to his confirmation to discuss increasing trade opportunities for U.S. producers. I was pleased to hear that he agrees with me on the importance of trade for our ag economy, and in fact, this spring, the Trump administration announced an agreement had been reached to allow for U.S. exports of beef, poultry and natural gas into China. South Dakota ranchers are now able to sell high-quality beef in this new and lucrative market. I continue to encourage the administration to increase trade access to markets in other parts of Asia and the Pacific Rim region as well. As we continue to discuss new opportunities for trade, I will work with the administration to promote and prioritize South Dakota’s agricultural industry. Opening up new markets for trade will bring a much-needed boost to South Dakota’s farm economy and lead to higher-paying jobs across the state. Broadcaster Press 5 My Principles For Pro-Growth Tax Reform By Sen. John Thune My biggest priority for the remainder of the year will be sending the president a comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform package that helps middle-class South Dakotans who are struggling to make ends meet. According to a recent study, 50 percent of American voters consider themselves to be living paycheck to paycheck, and about one-third of them say they’re just $400 away from a financial crisis. To put it into perspective, it means these folks are one broken refrigerator or unexpected car repair away from a financial emergency. While it might seem small, $400 can go a long way for families in South Dakota. Living in a constant state of financial fear and uncertainty, like so many cash-strapped families do these days, isn’t how most people purposefully choose to live. The status quo simply isn’t working for many of them, and it’s putting the American Dream further out of reach. Many of these folks are fighting hard to get a leg up, but they feel burdened by a system and an economy that for years has kept wages down and opportunities few and far between. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, which is why I believe Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help strengthen our economy by reforming our outdated tax code. I have a set of five key principles that I believe must govern how any meaningful tax reform bill is drafted and passed. The first is a no-brainer. Any bill we pass has to result in increased wages, jobs, and economic growth for South Dakotans. It must help people increase their take- home pay and pursue opportunities that will put their family in a better position to succeed, period. Second, and perhaps just as obvious, tax reform must provide tax relief to South Dakotans. It would be hard to find a South Dakotan who believes they aren’t paying enough in taxes, and Washington already takes too much of what they earn. Congress needs to learn how to spend money more efficiently and let folks keep more of their hard-earned paycheck. Third and fourth, we have to create a system that encourages well-paying American jobs to stay in this country, and it has to increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy. A noncompetitive tax code not only discourages foreign companies from doing business in the United States, but it also can encourage some American businesses to move to a country with a more competitive system. We’ve got to correct this, and it’s certainly within reach. Fifth and finally, tax reform must simplify the tax code, which is far too large and complex. Whether you’re an individual or a small business owner, everyone can benefit from a simplified system that lowers rates and doesn’t stand in the way of a South Dakotan’s ability to succeed. Guided by these five basic, common-sense principles, which I’m hopeful will enjoy bipartisan support, I will work with my colleagues in Congress to deliver on our promise of creating a system that boosts wages, jobs, and economic growth. It would put middle-class families back in the driver’s seat of the American economy. They’ve waited long enough. If you don’t get the word out about your business, no one else will!!! Weekly Column: A Beacon For Freedom And Opportunity Qaeda, Boko Haram and others have sought to expand their physical boundaries and the reach of their violent ideology. These groups are convicted to destroy, not only towers and embassies, but our people and values. They will not succeed. “[America] will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail” – a promise made by President Bush days after the attack and safeguarded by our men and women in uniform every single day. “The attacks of September 11 were intended to break our spirit. Instead, we have emerged stronger and more united,” New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in December 2001. It’s undeniable that individual Americans will always have ideological differences, but for those of us who lived through that day, the memory of September 11 binds us together. Particularly in this day and age, that’s a message the next generation could benefit from hearing. When I talk to Booker about September 11, I want him to understand that we mark this day, not only because of the terror carried out, but because of America’s resiliency in the face of terror. We were and continue to be the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. No one – not the terrorists who piloted those planes, not those who attacked our embassy in Benghazi, not those waging war in the Middle East today – will keep that light from shining. By Rep. Kristi Noem Almost one in four Americans weren’t yet born when the towers fell and the Pentagon was struck on September 11, 2001. For them, the threat of terrorism has always been present, security always enhanced, and shoes always removed at airport security checkpoints. Sometimes I forget that Booker, born less than a year after the attack, is one of these people. He learns about it in history class, but the pages of a textbook can never quite convey what it was like to live through that day. I remember exactly where I was. Like so many other mornings, it started off as such a normal Tuesday. Get the By Gov. Dennis Daugaard: girls up and off to school, jump in the pickup, and flip on the radio. But then the reports started coming in… When a debt is owed to you, sometimes it can be difficult A plane strikes the World Trade Center in New York to collect. Whether it’s a grocery store that receives a bad City. A second tower is hit. The Pentagon too. And then, check, a carpenter seeking payment on a bill or a person that chilling moment when New York City’s streets fill with who loans a friend $50, it’s not enjoyable or easy to recover dust, the images of which can never be forgotten; the first what you are owed. tower had collapsed. Minutes later, we learn another plane Sometimes state government finds itself in the same posi- crashed in Pennsylvania. The second tower falls. And tion. Restitution payments and court-ordered child placeAmerica unites in grief, determination, and prayer. ment costs, fines for hunting violations, unpaid business Many of us might even still remember President Bush’s taxes, reimbursements for damage to state property, or words just hours after: “Terrorist attacks can shake the fees owed to a university can also be hard to collect. These foundations of our buildings, unpaid obligations also place a greater financial burden on but they cannot touch the other taxpayers. foundation of America… [W] Until a couple of years ago, each state entity tried to col- e’re the brightest beacon for lect these debts on their own. The Unified Judicial System, freedom and opportunity in Secretary of State’s Office, Board of Regents, Department of the world. And no one will PRECISION PAINTING Revenue, and Game, Fish and Parks each had their own debt keep that light from shining.” •Interior •Exterior collection systems in place. That approach was inefficient Sixteen years later, •Commercial and did not achieve the desired results. radical Islamic terrorists •Residential Design/Build • Fiber Cabling • Commercial • Residential South Dakota now has a much more effective way to continue to make threats Quality Workmanship, Service Calls • Boom Truck with Auger • Trenching recover money owed – the Obligation Recovery Center. This on this beacon of freedom Reasonable Rates new centralized system doesn’t just recover dollars owed to – even waging an attack on CLINT TUCKER Serving the the state; it also helps crime victims and single parents who our embassy in Benghazi, 624-4621 Beresford and Since are owed money by convicted felons. Libya, on September 11, 1221 Cornell St., Vermillion, SD • 605-624-5642 1983 In 2015, the Legislature established the Obligation ReVermillion Areas 201 NW 13th St., Ste. 3, Beresford, SD • 800-560-2518 2012. ISIL, the Taliban, alcover Center to improve the state’s debt-collection efforts. Now, in the instances where agency efforts to collect debts • AUTOMOTIVE COLLISION REPAIR prove unsuccessful, those debts can be referred to the • PAINT • FRAMEWORK center, which can impose penalties for non-payment. Repair & Remodel • GLASS REPLACEMENT For debts exceeding $50, hunting and fishing licenses can be suspended. For debts exceeding $1,000, the state can Carpentry, Decks, place blocks on driver licenses and motor vehicle registraWindows & Doors, tions. And for those who still do not work toward reducing Refinishing, Drywall, & their debts, their cases are referred to third-party debt colM-F lection agencies. Ceramic Tile 9AM-6PM The Obligation Recovery Center is certainly a more acSAT 18 Years in Business tive approach toward debt-collection. Still, it is important to 9AM-12PM understand that a debtor does not have to repay a debt in 1205 CARR STREET • VERMILLION • 605.670.0471 full to regain lost privileges. A debtor must simply agree to a payment plan to avoid these penalties. BlainesBodyShop@gmail.com The results of the new system have been promising. In its year of operation, the Obligation Recovery Center has recovered more after more than a than $3.3 million. In addition, payment plans have been century, we’re still established that will collect inventing new ways another $7.6 million. Around 63,000 cases have to keep you been referred to the center The University of South Dakota will be offering for sale comfortable, no and only 24 individuals have appealed their cases to washers/double dryers, some desks, chairs, tables, matter the season. an administrative hearing, volleyball poles, cage lockers and other miscellaneous items which is an indication that Call your the process is largely workth dealer ing as it should. For the single parent who Today! With Manufacturer Rebates & Utility Incentives Location of the sale is at the USD Quonset located is owed child support or the crime victim who is owed north of the Dakota Dome on Hwy 50, next to the restitution, the new process Vucurevich Day Care Center. is making a big difference. Just as importantly, it’s Any questions call 605.677-5669 advancing fairness for the 605-665-9461 taxpayer. 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