OPINION We need accountability and transparency regarding the “Phase One” agreement. Farmers for Free Trade is asking that the administration provide details about the promised $40 billion in agricultural purchases – whether that commitment is contingent on any actions by the United States – and for details on how China will meet that commitment if it’s actually been made.
We were told Mexico would make massive ag purchases from the United States and that the European Union would make huge purchases of U.S. ag products. Neither of those promises were fulfilled. Now we’re being told China will double the level of its historic purchases. Needless to say there is a healthy skepticism about whether American farmers will actually see those purchases. That skepticism is only compounded when we’re told we won’t see the full text of the deal.
Farmers were told that trade wars are “good and easy to win.” They were told they need to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. The pain has been long-term and we have yet to see the gain. Now is not the time for airy promises and splashy signing ceremonies. Now is the time for iron-clad commitments and follow-through. We believe the only way to boost U.S. ag exports to China in a sustainable fashion is to end the trade war and return to doing what we do best – growing the safest best-quality food at the most affordable prices. We need government to move out of the way and let us go back to work.