With good news from recent trade agreements, many are hoping for the same momentum for trade talks with China. Trade negotiations are officially on the horizon with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom, continuing the momentum generated by a bilateral deal with South Korea (KORUS) and a renegotiated NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada, now the USMCA.
The American Soybean Association has consistently requested a negotiated solution to the trade war with China and urged that exports lost to this key market be offset through new free trade agreements. ASA is hopeful that the Administration’s formal notice to Congress that it will enter trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom as soon as mid-January will make a settlement with China a plausible next step, bringing an end to the devastating tariff imposed on American soybeans.
Concluding the USMCA and success with subsequent FTA negotiations with Japan, the EU and other countries would mean opportunities to potentially increase U.S. soy and livestock product exports to other promising markets, including the Philippines. ASA is encouraging the Administration to consider adding Vietnam and Indonesia to its list of potential negotiating targets. Knowing, however, that increased sales to these markets won’t offset lost U.S. export to China, ASA continues to emphasize the need to reach an agreement that rescinds the current tariffs and allows soy growers to begin to restore this vital, number one export market.
ASA President and soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, John Heisdorffer said, “Our soybean harvest this year is large, and we are facing great uncertainty in China, so a modernized NAFTA is timely and beneficial for our farmers and rural communities. With USMCA, KORUS, and other agreements in sight, we are hopeful that a negotiated solution to the China tariffs could be in sight,” commented Heisdorffer.