My view from the Great Wall of China pic.twitter.com/W3tl95NJqp
— Dan Lederman (@danlederman) December 2, 2014
If you haven’t been following his tweets the last couple of days, in his latest, State Senator Dan Lederman dropped a note from the Great Wall of China, where he’s been on a Council for State Governments sponsored trade exchange, which is particularly important for South Dakota:
The group who will be travelling, myself, Representative Matt Hatchett of Georgia, Senator James Overbey of Tennessee, Representative Jack Williams of Alabama and Andy Karellas, the CSG Director of Federal Affairs, Washington DC, in about a weeks’ time will be arriving in Beijing, China.
It’s an important point in time between our nations. U.S.-China total trade has risen from $2 billion in 1979 to $562 billion in 2013. Both of our countries collaborate on many issues ranging from tariff-rate reduction to climate change mitigation. We can seek areas of mutual cooperation, and through that, seek partnerships through exchanges such as this, as opposed to conflict.
China is hungry for American products. Particularly for South Dakota, one of the 5 major categories of imports for the Chinese are agricultural products, something that South Dakota has in abundance. In 2013, China imported 18.9 billion (with a ‘b’) in agricultural products from the Unites States, second only to the transportation equipment among the top 5 US-China imports.
For South Dakota specifically, China is South Dakota’s fourth-largest export market. The state of South Dakota has increased exports to China six-fold since the year 2000, rising from about $6.5 million to nearly $50 million in 2013. In 2013, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard invited local businesses in the state to travel with him to participate in a trade mission to China. South Dakota’ industry priorities include bioscience, financial services, professional business services, oil and gas, and value-added agriculture.