Organizations recently wrote a letter to members of Biden’s cabinet
By Diego Flammini
Groups representing agriculture and other sectors are asking the Biden Administration to continue working with China on implementing the Phase One trade agreement.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association and American Feed Industry Association are among the ag groups who signed onto an Aug. 5 letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
The trade deal between the U.S. and China will celebrate its second anniversary on Feb. 15, 2022.
And while the pact has been beneficial for industries including agriculture, more effort is needed to hold China accountable to its commitments.
Both governments need “to ensure that China meets its existing purchase commitments, including purchases of American ethanol,” the letter says.
In January of this year, Reuters reported China had purchased about 200 million gallons of ethanol for the first half of 2021.
For comparison, China imported no ethanol in 2019.
Tariffs on U.S. goods is another issue with China.
The groups understand engaging with China on trade items won’t be easy.
They recognize “that fully resolving tariffs is unlikely, absent substantially more progress by China on core issues,” the groups wrote. Making progress will depend on a whole-of-government approach, and we appreciate your ongoing work with all relevant cabinet departments and agencies to advance a highly coordinated and collaborative process.”
Ambassador Tai and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack recently met with industry committees on trade and policy issues.
“The Ambassador discussed how USTR is working to support the ability of U.S. agricultural producers to expand access to foreign markets and a new customer base,” a joint statement said on Aug. 13. “Secretary Vilsack emphasized the importance of promoting exports and finding new overseas markets, and that agricultural trade is tied to the health of rural economies.”