Free trade needs to be fair trade and farmers received several pieces of good news last week on that front.
President Trump announced that negotiations with China have taken a major step forward. Because of some very important concessions from China, the President struck an agreement that he won’t raise the tariffs on Chinese goods while negotiations continue. As a result, China has agreed to purchase a “very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States.” These purchases are designed to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries and put us in a much better position than we have been for quite some time.
Most importantly, China has agreed to begin purchasing US soybeans immediately. Prices have surged. This is welcome news across rural America. Meanwhile, negotiations with President Xi will continue in the hopes that China will quit ripping off our country. We continue to play the long game knowing that the best deal isn’t going to happen overnight.
Closer to home, the trade “long game” is just about over and it looks like a win.
President Trump, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It replaces NAFTA, which had put the US at a disadvantage in several key areas.
The new agreement will increase market access for America’s farmers and ranchers, incentivize billions in new auto production, install new protections to safeguard America’s intellectual property against foreign competitors, and create a new chapter to benefit America’s small and medium sized businesses.
The President kept his promise to deliver a new agreement and getting his counterparts in Mexico and Canada to the table to sign the agreement was a huge win for America. The ball is now in Congress’ court and I hope we will act quickly in the new year to ratify the agreement.
Trade is critical to North Missouri and these developments are huge. Our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and businesses are one step closer to having the certainty and market access they need. We’ve still got a long way to go but I am committed to helping us get the best possible trade deals we can get. With a little patience, I think we can even out the imbalances and right the ship.