May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Politicians here in DC are always looking for someone to blame for all the problems that we
face. China is at the top of that list. Congress is writing a powerful anti-China package of bills.
There is no question about it. China has been aggressive, and not a good neighbor with countries
close at hand. Also, they have had a campaign of genocide and forced labor on their own people
in Northwestern China. We know they have a system to steal technology from the US and other
countries. So why not hammer China? Politically that could be very popular. I’m not against
calling them out for some of their actions, but we don’t need another Cold War. President
Trump imposed heavy tariffs on China, and President Biden has not lifted them. However, it is
time to sit down with the number two country in the world. They are just behind us.

Beating up on China may be good politics but not good business. The Phase One trade deal with China is still in place. For the ag industry, they are our biggest market. We can continue to push the Chinese to reform, but increase cooperation and negotiate in good faith. We have serious trade conflicts with other countries – in some cases trusted allies like Europe. President Biden and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai have agreed with the European Commission Executive Vice President to resolve trade differences by end of the year. That won’t be easy. President Trump imposed steel and aluminum Tariffs. And U.S. steel and aluminum companies love it. But it has not worked.

The tariffs have hurt our own companies that buy steel. Besides that – Europe continues to use non-tariff barriers to close the door on our GE crops. Our U.S. Trade Representative Tai reminds us that when it comes to China, the U.S. and EU are on the same page. “We can partner to promote high standards, address shared concerns, and hold countries like China that support trade – distorting policies to account.”

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico met this week to try to settle a list of differences over the USMCA agreement. Mexico and Canada are our closest neighbors, and we can’t even get along. Our dairy farmers are not happy with Canada’s trade restrictions. Trade disputes never end.

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