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Perdue: Phase I 'a Bonanza for American Agriculture'
USAgNet - 01/16/2020

U.S. Secretary Perdue issued the following statement after President Trump signed the Phase One Trade Agreement between the United States and China:

"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."

The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. The United States has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions in a significant way.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said of the deal, "For the U.S. pork and beef industries to expand their business in China, the world's largest and fastest-growing destination for imported red meat, it is critically important that China follows international standards for pork and beef trade. The Phase One trade agreement lays important groundwork toward this goal, and USMEF thanks the Trump administration for addressing the barriers that have hampered U.S. pork and beef exports to China for many years. Last year China's red meat imports exceeded $14 billion, a 65% increase from 2018. The U.S. industry looks forward to capturing a greater share of this rapidly growing market."

Corn Refiners Association (CRA) President and CEO John Bode said, "The signing of a phase 1 trade agreement with China is a positive step forward, and hopefully a sign of good things to come for our nation's farmers, ranchers, and agri-businesses. American agriculture and related businesses are hurting, so the promised $40-50 billion of expanded agriculture purchases outlined in this agreement are a very promising achievement," said CRA President and CEO John Bode.

While CRA acknowledged that details remain unrevealed, it has been widely reported that Phase 1 includes some reforms to China's intellectual property protections, technology transfer, expanded agriculture purchases , reduced barriers to financial services, expanded U.S. import purchases, currency manipulation, and improved dispute resolution procedures.

However. MarketWatch.com noted that, "for its part, Beijing agreed to significantly increase its purchases of U.S. products. According to the Trump administration, China is to buy $40 billion a year in U.S. farm products -- an ambitious goal for a country that has never imported more than $26 billion a year in U.S. agricultural products."

U.S. corn refiners export over $2 billion in goods annually, adding $4.7 billion to the overall economy. With 15 percent of all U.S. refined corn products exported annually, and Mexico and Canada representing the two largest markets for refined corn products totaling more than $900 million in yearly exports, international trade is vital to the success of CRA members.

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