Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03), the only Iowa member of the House Agriculture Committee, released the following statement ahead of the signing of a ‘Phase 1’ trade agreement between the United States and China:
“As this administration has pursued a prolonged trade war with China, Iowa farmers have been the ones to pay the price.
As I’ve traveled through Southwest Iowa, I have heard concerns directly from farmers I represent in Washington — concerns about how long this trade war has gone on, how difficult it will be to reclaim lost markets, and how deep the seeds of uncertainty have been laid as a result of protracted tensions with China.
I’m hopeful that today’s Phase 1 agreement with China puts us on a path to ending this harmful trade war, and I will closely monitor the implementation to ensure Iowans are receiving what they’re promised.
While we have not received all the details of the finalized agreement, I will be looking to see if it will result in more purchases of Iowa’s agricultural products and reduce the harmful impacts of the tariffs on American businesses and consumers.
This administration must finalize a deal that will be enough to make up for what Iowa farmers have lost. We have seen China go back on their word time and time again, and any agreement must reflect a need for guarantees and enforcement mechanisms to protect our farmers’ futures.”
President Donald J. Trump, for the third year in a row, will speak at the AFBF Annual Convention. The address is scheduled for January 19 in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Convention Center.
“The American Farm Bureau is honored President Trump will return for a third consecutive year to speak with farmers and ranchers who work tirelessly to produce the quality food and fiber our country needs,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We are grateful that he has made agricultural issues a priority and look forward to welcoming him to Austin at a time when there is much to talk about, from trade progress to important regulatory reforms.”
Other officials currently scheduled to attend are: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
President Donald Trump says he’ll sign the first phase of a trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15.
Trump says Tuesday on Twitter that he’ll then travel to Beijing at a later date for talks aimed at reaching agreement on outstanding sticking points in the U.S.-China trade relationship.
In the deal reached earlier in December, the U.S. agreed to reduce tariffs on China and China agreed to buy larger quantities of U.S. farm products, such as soybeans. Remaining sticking points would be worked out during a second round of trade talks.
Reports surfaced early on Monday that the Chinese Vice Premier will lead a delegation to Washington, D.C., to sign the Phase One trade deal.
A source close to the situation tells the South China Morning Post that Liu He will fly to Washington on Saturday to sign the agreement. The source said the U.S. extended the invitation and Liu has accepted.
Farm Futures reports that Beijing and Washington haven’t confirmed the trip yet. China is already buying larger amounts of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, which was a big part of the agreement for U.S President Donald Trump.
The possibility of making the deal official this weekend will mean increased purchases by China, as well as a partial end to the trade war that’s dominated headlines for the past 18 months. China’s soybean imports from the U.S. recently hit a 20-month high at 2.6 million tons, the highest number since March of 2018, when the trade war between the world’s largest economies began to pick up steam.
Reports of higher food prices in China will likely mean a need for increased imports of U.S. agricultural goods in the months ahead to bring down those prices.
Today the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States and China have reached a “Phase One” trade deal. More details are in this USTR press release.
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued this statement:
China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing destination for imported red meat, and the U.S. industry is excited about the prospects for expanded opportunities in China. We look forward to learning more details about this Phase One agreement.
U.S. pork and beef products have been subject to burdensome retaliatory duties in China since 2018, and this has made it very difficult for the U.S. industry to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing need for high-quality proteins. But long before retaliatory duties entered the picture, non-tariff barriers were a major, persistent obstacle for U.S. exporters looking to expand their business in China. USMEF thanks the Trump administration for bringing these issues to the forefront in an effort to persuade China to follow international standards for red meat trade.