Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Graves: We must avoid an unnecessary trade war
China announced last week that they would retaliate for tariffs imposed by the United States by placing tariffs of their own on some of our goods. Soybeans, pork, and frozen beef could all take a hit as a result of retaliation from China.
A trade war where China targets American agriculture isn’t good for North Missouri at all.
Trade keeps the economic engine of North Missouri running by giving farmers more opportunities to feed the world. This is why I have always supported free trade.
There is no doubt that our trade deals need to be fair. We need to make sure that the trade deals we currently have are the best deals. However, we must make sure that the benefits of actions we take with other countries outweigh the cost. Fair trade doesn’t mean no trade.
In fact, we need to open up even more markets. That’s why I sent a letter last month to the United States Trade Representative asking him to do just that. New markets benefit our farmers as does expanded access to existing markets around the world. We should be working to increase trade, not decrease it.
Most of the benefits we receive from our current trade deals are seen in the agriculture sector. In an attempt to fix issues in other sectors, we must make sure that agriculture isn’t the one taking the hit.
That being said, I support the President’s right to go after bad actors. Unfair trade practices hurt our economy and costs us jobs. China has been the worst offender. It’s important that the United States moves towards re-establishing our position in the world and I commend the President for taking bold action to do just that.
As we move to get tough on China, the actions we take going forward must be done while being mindful of potential retaliation and who gets hurt in the process. I’m hopeful that we can negotiate through these issues in an attempt to avoid an unnecessary trade war.