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Arrington Urges USDA and USTR to Prioritize “Phase One” China Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) led 35 members in sending a letter to the United States Department Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative emphasizing the importance of the “Phase One” trade agreement with China to our nation’s farmers and ranchers. The group urged the respective agencies to push China to follow through on its commitments, utilize the newly enhanced enforcement mechanisms in place, and continue discussions towards a second phase of negotiations.

“For decades, China has been waging economic war on the United States. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers bore the brunt of China’s bad behavior and unjustified retaliatory tariffs. Last year, President Trump finalized the much-anticipated “Phase One” trade agreement with China, forcing them to cease unfair practices and securing the largest agriculture purchase in the history of our trade relationship.” said Rep. Arrington. “In order for our nation’s agriculture producers to reap the full benefit of this agreement, the Biden Administration must continue to hold China accountable for their previous commitments. Since the world witnessed China’s corrupt and incompetent handling of the pandemic, we must engage them with a heightened scrutiny and vigilant enforcement.”

Excerpts from the letter: 

As you know, China has cheated for decades, stealing our intellectual property, abusing import quotas to limit imports of U.S. crops, manipulating its currency, providing massive subsidies to benefit its state-owned enterprises, and engaging in a vast array of other corrupt practices. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers have paid a high price for China’s bad behavior, including the value of previous exports to China plummeting by more than $10 billion in the last three years.”

“While we have been encouraged by China’s move to implement many of its Phase One structural obligations, including reforms to rules and practices that harm U.S. farmers and ranchers, it is imperative we continue to ensure our agriculture producers, and many other sectors of our economy, get the full benefit of these regulatory reforms.”

If China fails to come into compliance with its obligations, it is fortunate that the Phase One Agreement also contains an innovative enforcement mechanism for us to raise implementation concerns and promptly apply significant consequences.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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