Ag exports to China improve; Biden seeks better trade compliance
The latest trade numbers show strong U.S. agricultural exports despite transportation challenges, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
In a Sept. 28 installment of Newsline, AFBF Senior Staff Economist Veronica Nigh indicated that U.S. exports to China are up significantly despite challenges from major weather events and shipping issues.
“We're in the second year of our two-year Phase One commitment with China, which committed China to purchasing certain dollar values of U.S. agricultural products,” Nigh said. “So, thus far in 2021, January through August, we've exported nearly $18 billion of U.S. ag products.”
While that figure is an improvement of 120% over the same time period in 2020, it’s 12% behind a pace to reach the total U.S. 2021 ag export value required by the Phase One deal.
Ag exports to China represent 16% of total U.S. ag exports, valued at more than $115 billion.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 4 the Biden administration announced its plans to re-align U.S. trade policies toward China while pursuing the Asian nation’s compliance with the Phase One Trade Agreement that took effect in February 2020.
According to a fact sheet from the office of United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the administration plans to discuss with China its performance under the Phase One Agreement. China made commitments that do benefit certain American industries, including agriculture, that the U.S. wants enforced.
While pursuing Phase One enforcement, the administration will restart targeted tariff exclusions to mitigate the effects of certain Section 301 tariffs that raised costs on Americans.
The U.S. has concerns with the PRC that were not addressed in the Phase One deal, specifically related to China’s state-centered and non-market trade practices, including Beijing's non-market policies and practices that distort competition by propping up state-owned enterprises, limiting market access, and other coercive and predatory practices in trade and technology.
The fact sheet indicated that the U.S. will continue consulting and coordinating with allies and partners with a shared interest in ensuring that the terms of competition are fair, work collectively to set the rules of the road for trade and technology in the 21st century, and strengthen the global market for U.S. workers and businesses.