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ND congressional delegation comment on status of US, China tariff war

The tariff war between the U.S. and China remains a hot topic.

Each member of North Dakota’s congressional delegation have commented on the status of the tariff issue with China in relation to U.S. agriculture.

“The Administration is working to reach an agreement that holds China accountable for their unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, unfair subsidies and agriculture market access restrictions,” said Sen. John Hoeven.

“During these negotiations, our farmers have been disproportionately targeted by retaliatory tariffs and China not purchasing ag products, especially soybeans, is having an impact on prices. That’s why I worked as chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee to secure trade assistance for our producers, including two rounds of Market Facilitation Program payments. Most recently, I worked to ensure that funding for this trade assistance was included in the recently-passed funding extension and MFP payments were not blocked or delayed,” he said. “While this assistance is vital, ultimately, our producers need access to foreign markets. That’s why I continue urging the Administration to finalize trade negotiations,” Hoeven said.

He noted in late September that recently, both the U.S. and China have made efforts to de-escalate and lead negotiators are expected to meet in October.

“China also began purchasing U.S. agriculture products, including more than 1.5 million tons of soybeans. Additionally, we should increase pressure on China by approving the USMCA (United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement), which needs to originate in the House, and by putting in place trade deals, like the agreement with the EU (European Union) to import additional U.S. beef and with Japan to lower tariffs on $7.2 billion of U.S. agricultural goods,” Hoeven said.

Congressman Kelly Armstrong said in late September, “The single best thing we can do for North Dakota ag producers is pass USMCA. It has the votes to pass today, and I’m still hopeful that Congress can get it done, despite this misguided push for impeachment. The recent agreement with Japan is a positive development for farmers, opening up new markets for $7 billion in U.S. agricultural products. Japan is one of the top export markets for North Dakota wheat.

He went on, “China is not an equitable actor on the world stage, and President Trump’s tough negotiations with them have been a long time coming. I know farmers didn’t ask to be on the frontlines of this fight, but I’m confident that President Trump will negotiate a strong trade deal that creates opportunities for our producers. There’s been some progress recently, with China making purchases of U.S. soybeans and pork.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer said in Sept. 27 comments, “Talks between China and the United States are set to resume on October 10th. The Chinese are coming back to the table and discussing specific agriculture issues. They’ve also agreed to purchase American soybeans and pork. While the relationship is warming – ice is thawing – and real substantive action is being taken, we have to remember who (we) are dealing with. No deal with China is ever over until it is over.

“China’s pattern of almost agreeing to a deal, then backing out, makes securing other bilateral deals even more important. President Trump recently wrapped up a deal with Japan and is moving forward on a deal with India. These are important moves, expanding market access for our farmers and putting the pressure back on China. I look forward to working with the administration – as I did for deals with Japan and India – to secure more bilateral deals and finalize a good agreement with China, Cramer said.