Thursday, January 16, 2020

Graves: This has been a great week for trade deals

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

China has been cheating us for years. They’ve unfairly subsidized businesses in order to shut down American competition, they’ve stolen our technology, and quite frankly, our money too. And, all this time, they’ve gotten a free pass because no President has had the guts to stand up to Communist China. That all changed with President Trump.

To fight back, President Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese products to force their government back to the negotiating table.

I’m no fan of tariffs, but I’m also no fan of getting ripped off by China. Unfortunately, instead of owning up for decades of lying and cheating, the Chinese government decided to target American farmers.

In the meantime, we were finally able to secure a much better trade deal with Mexico and Canada—America’s two largest trading partners. I was proud to support the USMCA when it passed the House in December. It just passed the Senate today and now awaits President Trump’s signature. That agreement helped force the Chinese back to the table, for fear of getting shut out of the American market.

As a result, President Trump was able to negotiate and sign “phase one” of a trade deal with China. In the deal, they agreed to purchase $32 billion of American agricultural products, including pork, soybeans, and wheat. China also agreed to lift rules that limited the import of other farm products like meat, poultry, dairy, and animal feed. Much-needed patent protections were also secured to keep the Chinese from cheating American businesses.

Together, these deals are projected to have more than a $200 billion impact on the American economy—that’s huge not just for our farmers, but for all Americans. However, there’s still work that needs to be done. President Trump is negotiating “phase two” of the trade deal with China that addresses additional issues, like protecting our communities from illegal Chinese-made fentanyl and stopping cyber-theft by the Chinese.

With the approval of USMCA and the phase one trade deal with China, many farmers across North Missouri breathed a sigh of relief. It’s been a long road to get here, but I’m glad we’re finally getting these deals completed. President Trump promised to get better trade deals done—and he’s delivering on that promise.

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