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SCOUTING YESTERDAY: Janklow’s entry into U.S.-Canada feud spurs trade talks
This week in South Dakota history: Oct. 4-10
South Dakota suspended its blockade of Canadian grain and livestock on Oct. 6, 1998, after 21 days.
According to the Rapid City Journal, Gov. Bill Janklow lifted the blockade after U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman scheduled talks with Canadian officials.
The dispute began when farmers claimed that Canadian farm products were being exported to the United States at values cheaper than their production cost in an effort to undercut foreign markets, aided by a falling Canadian dollar. Additionally, producers complained that inspections to send products to Canada were more restrictive than those required of Canadian products exported to the U.S.
Montana and Idaho backed their farmers by requiring lengthy paperwork on agricultural imports, backing up their border crossings. Meanwhile, North Dakota requested that the U.S. government inspect all wheat for Karnal bunt, a fungal disease.
South Dakota joined the blockade on Canadian ag products Sept. 16, according to the Bismarck Tribune. Gov. Janklow required that all hogs entering the state have paperwork showing they had not been treated with six substances banned in the United States, which were allowed in Canada, and paperwork showing that grains entering the state were free of wild oat seed and fungal disease. The governor felt these were documents very few haulers would be able to provide upon inspection.
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Janklow said he would call off the inspections of Canadian farm products only if the U.S. challenged Canada’s trade provisions. At the time, inspections of U.S. wheat entering Canada cost between $130-200 per truckload while inspections on Canadian wheat entering the U.S. cost about $25.
“I’m just going to require their wheat undergo the same testing,” Janklow told the South Dakota Managing Editors Association while announcing the inspections.
Protests were held a week later when farmers near the port of entry at Portal, N.D., blocked roads with grain and held up a Canadian Pacific train, parking a tractor on the tracks. Canadian officials responded to the blockades and protests requesting consultation under both the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.
According to the Argus Leader, John Morrell and Co., which slaughtered between 75,000 and 80,000 hogs per week, did not see any immediate impacts from the blockade. Morrell Sioux Falls plant manager Steve Crim said, “We’re aware of what’s going on. To the extent it’s had an effect on us so far, it hasn’t.”
Watertown truck stop owner Jeff Stone had seen the impacts, however, noting fewer Canadian trucks were stopping, and those that had stopped were empty.
Farmer protests blocking ports of entry continued through December when an agreement was reached between the U.S. and Canada. The deal lowered trade barriers for U.S. goods entering Canada and would also start requiring Canadian officials to report the price and quality of the wheat it was exporting. Governors who stepped up inspections during the protest were pleased with the deal, which would continue the $15 billion trade relationship.
Notable events in South Dakota history
Oct 4, 1973 — The Daily Republic reports federal judge Fred Nichol has denied a preliminary injunction requested by two University of South Dakota students challenging the university’s housing requirement that unmarried freshmen and sophomores live in dorms.
Oct 5, 1948 — The Sioux Falls Kiwanis Club will join more than 700 other Kiwanis clubs as they place 200 gumball machines in businesses and public places throughout the city to raise funds for underprivileged children, according to the Argus Leader.
Oct 8, 1998 — Gov. Bill Janklow’s campaign manager has accused Democratic opponent Bernie Hunhoff of violating state finance law by accepting advertising revenue from the state for his publication, South Dakota Magazine, while serving as a legislator. The Argus Leader reports Hunhoff dismissed the claims, saying, “Janklow is just trying to change the subject. He got caught using the state plane and state equipment.”
Oct 9, 1923 — A Moody County farmer’s liquor still was discovered by authorities, according to The Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times. The farmer had operated the still in a secret pit beneath an oat bin, but that day forgot to cover the trap door with oats before chasing off after a loose cow. When Sheriff Porter arrived on the scene to help, he noticed the trap door and opened it out of “a spirit of curiosity.”