Washington, D.C. — This week, U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) sent a letter with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) urging President Joe Biden to hold China accountable and make good on its unkept Phase One Trade Deal commitments that were successfully negotiated by President Trump and would have served to bolster the United States agricultural economy through more balanced and reciprocal trade.
“Illinois farmers and producers rely on foreign markets like China to sell their crop,” said Rep. Davis. “China’s refusal to hold up their end of the trade deal destroys demand for Illinois corn and soybean growers. It’s time for President Biden to hold China accountable for not following through. Because of President Biden’s weakness on the world stage and his ‘America Last’ foreign policy, the Chinese Communist Party feels emboldened to walk all over America. Biden’s international blunders are having disastrous consequences for our country.”
More than two years ago, the United States and China signed a two-year Phase One trade deal that required China to make structural reforms to its trade regime and import $73.9 billion of U.S. agricultural products in 2020 and 2021 combined. To this day, China has failed to live up to that commitment by $16 billion, and President Biden continues to fail our farmers when it comes to bolstering fair trade that supports our farmers.
In their letter to the President, Rep. Davis and Republican colleagues expressed their deep concerns with China not holding up their end of the agreement and urged President Biden, U.S. Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to immediately rectify the situation and stand for U.S. agricultural producers. They state that the U.S. must fully enforce the agreement and receive damages from China for China’s failure to perform.
“America must pursue a new trade agreement with China and seek to negotiate alternative trade agreements with other countries that can expand U.S. agricultural market access abroad. While we recognize that China imported significantly more U.S. agricultural products in 2020 and again in 20213 than any other year in history, we also recognize that the amount was not as promised, inflation is at a 40-year-high, and fertilizer costs are four or five times higher than this time last year. We are concerned that the lack of enforcement action will set a detrimental precedent for future trade negotiations.
“Again, we urge you to take immediate steps to rectify the unbalanced agricultural trade relationship with China; work towards new enforceable commitments from China; and pursue additional trade deals with other markets amenable to U.S. agricultural goods. Any solution must address the full suite of issues—including market access, administrative licensing, procurement, and localization—in a comprehensive and holistic manner. You must act now for America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers.”