Many people in South Dakota agriculture are watching President Trump’s trade negotiations with China and Canada closely. While those trade negotiations are getting lots of attention, there is another area, maybe bit less attention grabbing in South Dakota, where President Trump just won a trade battle.
For years, the major airlines have been fighting the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the Middle East, over cheating on the Open Skies Treaty. That treaty protects US airline industry jobs and adds trillions of dollars to the US economy. What had been taking place is that some nations had been heavily subsidizing their airlines acting in a manner that made it problematic for United States airlines to compete on a level playing field.
But based on pressure from the Trump administration, both the United Arab Emirates & Qatar have agreed to greater financial transparency, and an end to illegal subsidy practices.
What that was endangering for South Dakota, Western Iowa and throughout Nebraska, was this cheating endangered jobs at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport and at Eppley International Airfield in Omaha, and the millions of dollars of economic benefit that international access brings for tourism, and yes, for ag trade. And now, at least in these two counties, the problem has been solved. No other administration stood up to this cheating until President Trump had taken action.
In fact, one of the major carriers that serves this area, Delta Air Lines, is set to start flights nonstop from the U.S. to India for the first time in a decade, a decision the airline said was due to recent agreements over three of its Middle Eastern rivals’ practices.
While we watch Trump overseas and a bit more nervously on tariffs that could affect ag, his actions in the air fare wars are coming as part of his promises to renegotiate US trade deals in a way that is fair to America and her interests. We can only hope that nations are taking note of the President’s trade victories, wherever they may occur, and it gives them pause if they try to take advantage.
*You can read about it at FairSkies.org where over 100,000 people have already signed a petition to thank President Trump for standing up to these nation’s unfair policies towards America.