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Bill enters South Dakota in trade agreement with Ireland

Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill establishing a South Dakota - Ireland trade commission.

Senate Bill 165 opens trade relations between the state and the country of Ireland. The bill includes an exchange of academic ideas, mutual investments in infrastructure, and encourages joint business ventures.

Rep. Chris Karr was a prime sponsor of the bill. He said the bill would take the state a step further from friendship to partnership with Ireland.

Opponents previously voiced concerns of how narrow of a target market the bill has. Despite these doubts, the bill received overwhelming support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The trade commission will be made up of two members from the state Senate, two members of the House, a representative of the private sector, and the secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The bill also requires that the South Dakota - Ireland Trade Commission provides an annual report to the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.

The bill officially takes effect on July 1. There are no current projects or exchanges planned for the bill’s start date.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.