While South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said she was inspecting the state’s National Guard troops in Texas this week, a delegation from the state was set to meet in a trade gathering with buyers, agriculture industry leaders and government officials in Mexico.
South Dakota has significant trade relationship with Mexico, and, according to Noem, an adversarial relationship with Mexican drug cartels she has said bring a large amount of drugs into the state.
Noem has said the federal administration is failing to address the problems at the border between Mexico and the U.S. and that is having a negative impact on South Dakota.
Mexico is South Dakota’s second largest trade partner with an export value of about $600 million in 2022, state officials said in a news release Monday. That value was about $425 million in 2021, according to South Dakota Trade, an organization that promotes trade with countries around the world.
“The situation at our Southern border continues to deteriorate. The Mexican drug cartels are taking advantage of the open border to proliferate their drugs and human trafficking. This criminal activity is making South Dakotans less safe,” Noem said in her Tuesday news release.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Customs and Border agree Mexican cartels create problems for the U.S.
“Mexican TCOs are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States; they control most of the U.S. drug market and have established varied transportation routes, have advanced communications capabilities, and hold strong affiliations with criminal groups and gangs in the United States,” the DEA has said.
A variety of drugs are smuggled into the U.S. including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
Migrants and drug smuggling?
All of those drugs have been seized in South Dakota but fentanyl has been a frequent topic of drug discussions by law enforcement for the past several years.
When it comes to drug seizures, the South Dakota National Guard and Noem do not appear to be in the hot spot for trafficking.
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