Smith Leads Effort to Hold China Accountable for Ag Purchases Agreed to in Phase One Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) led a group of lawmakers on the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in calling for China to uphold their agreed upon agricultural purchases from the Phase One Deal. The Ways and Means Committee is the only committee in the U.S. House that has oversight of our nation’s trade policies. Congressman Smith has used his position on the full committee and its trade subcommittee to be actively involved in advising the Trump Administration on Missouri’s agriculture needs in trade negotiations.
Back in January, President Trump signed the landmark Phase One deal with China. In the agreement, China agreed to halt intellectual property theft, refrain from currency manipulation, and purchase an additional $200 billion of U.S. products over the next two years. Those purchases included roughly $80 billion of U.S. agriculture.
Congressman Smith wants to ensure that farmers and ranchers continue to remain a priority in the Trump Administration’s negotiations with China.
“As efforts are underway to recoup economic damages from the coronavirus pandemic, we must ensure that China fulfills their agricultural purchasing commitments in the Phase One deal,” said Congressman Smith. “Our farmers and ranchers are suffering heavy losses through disruptions caused by the coronavirus, and even with the tremendous efforts made by the Trump Administration to provide aid to U.S. agriculture during this crisis, America’s farmers need more immediate protection and long-term security. Ensuring China fully complies with their agricultural purchasing commitments will help provide some critical stability to our farmers.”
“Whether it’s through the modernized trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, a new trade agreement with Japan that provides important new market access for many of our farmers, critical support in the face of retaliation, or the historic China Phase One agreement, President Trump is dedicated to protecting American agriculture and expanding global markets for our farmers and ranchers,” added Smith.
Congressman Smith led seven of his colleagues in this request, including: Congressmen Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), George Holding (R-NC), Darin LaHood (R-IL), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH). They talked about the importance ensuring China fulfills their agricultural purchases agreed to in the Phase One deal, while continuing to hold China responsible for the global pandemic caused by their coronavirus cover-up.
“We recognize that China must be held accountable for its lack of transparency during the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, and we support a strong response to these failures,” the lawmakers said. “At the same time, we urge you to continue moving forward with implementation of Phase one, especially as it concerns to China’s agricultural purchasing commitment, which will serve as an essential boost to our economic recovery efforts, especially for our farmers.”