House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California issued the following statements Wednesday after President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the first phase of a trade deal between the two countries.
“My district produces everything from dairy, meat and poultry, to feed and pet food, to alfalfa and ethanol. This agreement appears to include positive structural changes and commitments that could increase access to the Chinese market for those and other products produced in districts across the country,” said Peterson. “I appreciate the negotiators and staff at USTR and USDA who have worked so hard to get us to this point. The question now is whether China will play by the rules it has agreed to here. I’m also concerned that, long-term, certain crops may not regain the foothold they lost in the trade war. If those purchases don’t materialize, I worry what effects that will have on the markets for crops like soybeans and sorghum.”
“At every turn, the American people have picked up the tab for the President’s trade war, which has strained hardworking American families and farmers. I am happy to see some progress,” added Costa, “but I will closely review this agreement to determine the impact on agriculture and working people in my district and nationwide. It’s not immediately clear that these new purchases will make up for what we’ve lost along the way. The key is getting the Chinese to stick to their commitments and prove that they will honor international agreements with western democracies that live by rules-based economies.”