Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Move Over Farm Groups. South Dakota's Business Community Also Has Good Reason To Fight The Trump Slump.

     Seems like up to now the only unified opposition to President Trump's ill-conceived
Scaring them off?
I think so.
tantrum has come from farm groups in this country.  That's about to change.  City folks are finally getting fed up and the mobilization against his trade policies is gaining some serious momentum. A coalition of trade associations representing farmers, retailers and manufacturers throughout the United States has coalesced into a group called Americans For Free Trade.   The 80 or so coalition members represent some ultra high-powered associations, including the American Petroleum Institute, Telecommunications Industry Association, and the National Retail Federation. The group is about to launch a $3 million campaign dedicated to fighting Trump's tariffs.                                                                                                                                                                                South Dakotans have some interest in this.   Our state's main retail trade group, the South Dakota Retailer's Association (SDRA, an effective and efficient association of which I've been a satisfied member for many years) shows up on the National Retail Federation's website as one of the 50 state retail associations that NRF describes as "the tip of the spear" when it comes to "retail public policy and government relations in state capitols across the nation." I'd be surprised if the South Dakota group will take a position or involve itself in the tariff issues that South Dakota's farmers have to deal with, but I wish they would.   Retailers, especially those (like me) with interests in the lodging industry, have a stake in our global business relationships.
     Foreign tourists matter.  Calling it the "Trump Slump,"  Forbes magazine last month noted that the U.S. share of international travel has dropped "sharply" during Donald Trump's tenure in the White House, falling by  6%, costing the U.S. 7.4 million visitors and $32 billion in 2017. Forbes says there's likely to be more this year.  So far in 2018, visitations to Mt. Rushmore have fallen by about 6%That would be 108,000 visitors.  Nationally, National Park visitations have dropped by 8.4 million, or nearly 4%.  I think the dropoff in foreign visitation accounts for much of this.  A strong U.S. Dollar might have a bit to do with it, but Forbes research on the fluctuating value of the Dollar and tourism patterns don't give the theory much credence.  The influential business advocacy group Business Forward, which featured the situation last summer in a piece about the "Trump Slump," makes it hard to draw any other conclusion. Now that there's a powerfully mobilized national group of businesses working to stop the negative effects of President Trump's ill-advised tariff wars, South Dakota's business community has reason to consider doing the same thing. 

1 comment:

  1. Clearly, to cite the misquoted version, of the line from All About Eve: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”