Today Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Joe Bragger attended the signing of a “Phase 1” trade agreement between the U.S. and China at the White House.
Phase 1 of the U.S.-China Agreement requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial service, and currency and foreign exchange. The agreement includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. The agreement also establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement.
“It was a chance of a lifetime to join other Farm Bureau presidents and agriculture leaders for this historic event,” said WFBF President Joe Bragger. “I was proud to see agriculture in the spotlight and slowly working our way back into this critical market.”
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. exported $19.5 billion of agricultural products to China in 2017. These exports were reduced to $9.1 billion in 2018 as a result of retaliatory tariffs.
“Signing this agreement has been a long-awaited moment for many farmers,” said Bragger. “The agriculture community was hit with a double whammy as we battled low commodity prices that were exacerbated by trade issues with China.”
Bragger added, “Wisconsin Farm Bureau hopes this agreement signals progress in ultimately reaching a fair deal with one of our largest trading partners. While it won’t save us from all the hardships facing agriculture, it is a step in the right direction.”
This agreement signifies China’s imports of U.S. agricultural products, such as soybeans, grains, meats, ethanol and the full range of other agricultural products will total at least $80 billion during the next two years. China will also strive to purchase an additional $5 billion of agricultural products annually.
Specifically, China has committed to streamline the timelines and procedures for registering U.S. dairy and infant formula facilities and products and to provide regulatory certainty and market stability for products like fluid milk and dairy permeate powder.
Bragger said, “We look forward to securing other trade deals with other trading partners and we encourage the Senate to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Building these trading relationships can only help our Wisconsin farmers.”
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