Today, President Donald Trump signed Phase One of the trade agreement with China, signaling a major step toward ending a two-year economic struggle between the two countries, which has heavily impacted U.S. agricultural products. The agreement takes effect in 30 days. During a news conference, Trump reiterated the importance of the deal, which, in addition to ag, will affect industries including manufacturing and energy, and the topic of intellectual property.
Trump said this new trade agreement is a $200 billion deal overall. Over the next two years, China could potentially purchase up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products annually, according to U.S. officials.
In the conference, Trump said, “The agreement tears down major market barriers for U.S. food and agriculture exports. China will now welcome American beef, pork, poultry, seafood, rice, dairy, infant formula, animal feed, biotechnology, and much much more.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “Today’s signing is an important step in giving America’s farmers and ranchers the ability to get back to business in the global market. “China was once the largest market for U.S. agricultural products but has dropped to fifth largest since retaliatory tariffs were introduced. This agreement will help turn around two years of declining agricultural exports. The potential of tens of billions more in exports is welcome news for farmers who are eager to compete on a more level playing field.”
The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates are very encouraged by the signing of a Phase One trade agreement with China. “Even though China has huge domestic wheat stocks, they were buying more U.S. wheat because they needed it to meet growing demand for higher quality wheat foods,” said Vince Peterson, President of U.S. Wheat Associates, the organization funded by farmers and the U.S. government to promote wheat exports. “The losses we demonstrated soon after China stopped importing U.S. wheat have only grown since then, so we hope the agreement signed today signals a potential turn-around.”
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway said, “[Trump] has now signed Phase One of a U.S.-China agreement that begins a longer process of finally holding China accountable to its trade commitments and to principles of truly free and fair trade. I commend the President for his critical work on trade and look forward to working with him this year on his continued efforts to open up markets for our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”
U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “This agreement is proof President Trump’s negotiating strategy is working. While it took China a long time to realize President Trump was serious, this China Phase I Deal is a huge success for the entire economy. This agreement finally levels the playing field for U.S. agriculture and will be a bonanza for America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers.”
“China has not played by the rules for too long, and I thank President Trump for standing up to their unfair trading practices and for putting America first. We look forward to exporting to Chinese customers hungry for American products,” Perdue said.