Urgency Meets Open Trade Fronts In Mexico And China

Apr 5, 2019  | 3 min  | Ep4433

The U.S. fought trade battles on multiple fronts this week. The contentious issues of intellectual property theft and tariffs on everything from steel to ginseng remain at the forefront. 

Paul Yeager has more. 

The president’s threat to shut down the border crossing with Mexico on immigration spilled over into trade relations between the two countries.

Several U.S. producers rely on the nation’s number three trading partner for a good share of their business. For U.S. dairy producers, Mexico is the largest export market.

The USMCA, the president’s answer to NAFTA, was agreed to in principle back in September. So far, none of the players have ratified the deal.

Senator Charles Grassley said this week, he met with the president last week to, again, make the case for lifting sanctions against USMCA countries in an effort to get a deal done.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R – Iowa: “He said he put them on, those tariffs on, so Mexico and Canada will negotiate. Well, Canada and Mexico negotiated, even the president said they have a good trade agreement. So guess what, I said since they negotiated in good faith, don’t you think you should take the tariffs off? He said no.”

U.S. trade representatives spent last week in China and this week, their counterparts came stateside, working out issues of intellectual property, agriculture and the enforcement of trade agreement terms.

The vice premier of China met with the president in the White House Thursday afternoon in an effort to help end the trade stalemate between the two countries.

President Donald Trump: “I think it's a very important and we'll see if it happens. We've never done a deal like this with China. And it's very unique set of circumstances. But it's a massive deal, could be one of the ... I guess it is if you think about, it the biggest deal ever made.”

Also in China last week, a delegation led by the Iowa Soybean Association. Tim Bardole, a 5th generation producer from central Iowa was on the trip and said the Chinese people he talked to last week are interested in making a deal that would allow U.S. soybeans into their country.

Tim Bardole, President-elect, Iowa Soybean Association: “It was unanimous on both sides of the table in every meeting, we’ve got to get this fixed, because we as U.S. farmers want to be doing business with them and they made it very clear that China wants to do business with us.”

The talks between the two nations are expected to fill the rest of April.  

For Market to Market, I’m Paul Yeager.

Contact: Paul.Yeager@IPTV.org

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