Missouri’s farmers export massive amounts of products to foreign countries. We need to open new markets and fix existing issues with our trading partners.
Agriculture is a major component of foreign trade. Missouri Farm Bureau works for greater access to global markets through new trade agreements and enforcement of existing trade commitments. MOFB members can receive trade updates through our weekly newsletter and our podcast, Digging In with Missouri Farm Bureau.
The Trump administration has committed to tackling trade issues. Congress approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in December 2019, a move that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with an updated agreement. In addition, the U.S. has entered into a Phase 1 deal with China that would address existing problems between the two countries and solve many of the ongoing battles over tariffs. MOFB will continue to advocate for additional agreements that will give our farmers greater access to foreign markets, including possible agreements with the United Kingdom, European Union, Kenya and India.
Trade with China
In the spring of 2018, President Trump announced tariffs on Chinese goods to address Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property. Since the announcement, the U.S. and China have gone back and forth levying tariffs and discussing potential solutions that will satisfy both countries. Agricultural commodities markets generally reacted unfavorably to the escalating tariff war. USDA announced that it would provide assistance to farmers who have been negatively impacted by the tariffs through the Market Facilitation Program.
The United States and China have entered a “Phase One” agreement that promises to have China buying $40 to $50 billion of U.S. agricultural goods each of the next two years. Additional issues with China still need to be worked out, and the execution of the Phase One deal needs to be closely monitored. The coronavirus pandemic has added significant uncertainty as to whether or not China will be able to hold up its end of the bargain. MOFB continues to encourage President Trump and Congress to push for a quick and positive resolution to the Chinese trade disputes.
We encourage the United States Department of Agriculture and Congress to make every effort to increase exports of agricultural commodities. China should adhere to the rules set by the WTO and should be closely monitored to ensure agricultural trade commitments are upheld.