Lawmakers from the tri-state react to passing first phase of US-China trade deal

Local News

WASHINGTON (KCAU/AP) — The United States and China have signed what’s being called a first phase trade agreement aimed at lowering tensions in the long-running dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

The deal signed at the White House on Wednesday by President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is expected to boost exports from U.S. farmers and manufacturers and protect American trade secrets. But the agreement leaves unresolved many of the complaints voiced by the Trump administration when it started the trade war by imposing tariffs on Chinese imports in July 2018. Chief among those complaints is the way the Chinese government subsidizes its companies.

Lawmakers from the tristate area reacted to the news.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa:

President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer should be commended for this significant progress toward a full and enforceable deal with China. Farmers have borne the brunt of retaliation throughout this trade war. At the White House today, I was thinking of my neighbors in Iowa and all the other farmers across the country who have stood strong throughout this process. I hope this proves to be a turning point in our economic relationship with China, but I’ve seen enough history to be clear-eyed. Not only must China follow through with its commitments in this Phase One deal, but also work toward a comprehensive agreement that ends forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft and unfair restrictions on U.S. goods, including agriculture. Only then will we know if China can be a reliable economic partner in the 21st century.

Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa:

There’s no doubt that this is an exciting start to the new year for the great state of Iowa—from the phase one China trade agreement being finalized to the USMCA moving through the Senate, I’m proud to work with President Trump to deliver real results for Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers. I was honored to join the President, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Governor Kim Reynolds at the White House for today’s signing ceremony. As Iowa’s 4th largest trading partner, China is a critically important market for Iowans, and this phase one deal – which is especially promising for our ag and manufacturing sectors – will help provide certainty for folks back home and starts to address other long-time issues with China: forced technology transfers and non-tariff trade barriers. As always, it’s imperative we keep the pressure on China to uphold their end of the bargain to ensure Iowa’s farmers and businesses see the full impact of this trade agreement.

Senator Ernst

Rep. Cidney Axne of Iowa’s 3rd District:

As this administration has pursued a prolonged trade war with China, Iowa farmers have been the ones to pay the price.

As I’ve traveled through Southwest Iowa, I have heard concerns directly from farmers I represent in Washington — concerns about how long this trade war has gone on, how difficult it will be to reclaim lost markets, and how deep the seeds of uncertainty have been laid as a result of protracted tensions with China.

I’m hopeful that today’s Phase 1 agreement with China puts us on a path to ending this harmful trade war, and I will closely monitor the implementation to ensure Iowans are receiving what they’re promised.

While we have not received all the details of the finalized agreement, I will be looking to see if it will result in more purchases of Iowa’s agricultural products and reduce the harmful impacts of the tariffs on American businesses and consumers.

This administration must finalize a deal that will be enough to make up for what Iowa farmers have lost. We have seen China go back on their word time and time again, and any agreement must reflect a need for guarantees and enforcement mechanisms to protect our farmers’ futures.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds:

Today, President Trump secured a historic win for the American people. Forging a stronger trade agreement with China puts Iowa farmers, families, and small businesses first. It was an honor to attend the signing ceremony, at the invitation of the President, and witness such an iconic moment.

By opening and expanding markets for our products, protecting intellectual property, and setting standards for currency valuation, President Trump has provided the American economy with a foundation for exponential growth and economic prosperity.

I want to commend the President and his entire team, including Ambassador Branstad and trade Ambassador Lighthizer for being a staunch advocate for American farmers and workers. I look forward to working with the administration to build on the progress made today.

Kim Reynolds

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska:

Trade is always good news. Every Nebraskan is rooting for the President to get good deals done. More trade is a win-win for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. The Chinese aren’t our foes, but the tyrants running the Chinese Communist Party are. Nebraskans want to keep the pressure on the commies in Beijing and make sure Chinese families can enjoy the best ag products in the world.

Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska:

I thank President Trump and his team for working hard to negotiate this deal between China and the United States. China has agreed to purchase, on average, $40 billion of agricultural products every year for the next two years. This deal will help expand market access for Nebraska and will bring much needed economic certainty to the manufacturing, agriculture, and energy sectors.

Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska’s 3rd District:

This first phase agreement with China is a positive first step toward addressing one of our biggest trade challenges. We must be vigilant in ensuring China follows this agreement, as we continue to fight for free and fair treatment of Nebraska products. I look forward to taking Nebraska agriculture producer concerns to the White House.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts:

Congratulations to President Trump on securing a Phase One trade deal with China. The President’s relentless focus on right-sizing our trade relationship with China is important for Nebraska as we seek to expand markets for our ag products around the world. Looking to the future, the U.S. must stay the course on addressing remaining priorities in our national interest in Phase Two.

Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota:

The ‘phase one’ deal signed today is great news for South Dakota farmers, ranchers and manufacturers,” said Rounds. “Under this agreement, China has agreed to purchase at least $40 billion of our agricultural products. This will provide some much-needed relief to our farmers and ranchers who have been at the tip of the spear throughout the trade negotiations by reestablishing markets for them to sell their products. We still have more to do to make sure China lives up to its obligations, and phase one is the first step in that process. I thank President Trump for his efforts to make sure our farmers, ranchers and manufacturers are getting a fair deal.

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