Congressman Jim Costa talks about US Trade Agreements

A new report from the Corn Refiners Association shows the US falling behind other countries in making new trade deals and lowering trade barriers.

“We still don’t have the agricultural trade person, Elaine Trevino, who I suppose over the years in California confirmed and she needs to be confirmed. We need to add that experience and expertise in place.”

Since 2010, the US has completed four trade agreements, but China has made 10 new deals, and the EU and Canada have both made 8 each.

California Congressman Jim Costa wants to see the administration re-engage in the trans-pacific partnership trade agreement and continue to ensure USMCA enforcement.

“We’ve got some problems right now with both Canada and Mexico. Regarding the efforts to employ electrical vehicles and their concerns about that not complying with USMCA their desire to retaliate with knock box and of course we have problems in the past with Canada on their supply side management and tried to negotiate that through USMCA.”

The China Phase One Agricultural Purchase Commitment is also set to expire in just 3 weeks… but costa says the administration doesn’t seem to have a resolution.

“It’s not going to sort itself out in my view, in three weeks. And, you know, trying to China clearly, as I think we’re at contemplating figuring out how they’re going to link that with a host of other issues that they’re dealing with. That seems to be the normal way in which these things are engaged in.”

He says more transparency and action are needed from the administration on all negotiations.

“Obviously, we need greater clarity as to what the priorities are, in terms of this administration’s policy and where agriculture fits in and how they attempt to deal with it with both our allies and our adversaries.”

The House Ag Committee has requested a trade hearing with trade representative Katherine Tai and is looking to get it scheduled for early next year.

In addition to more trade deals over the last decade, the report also found that the EU has reduced tariffs and trade barriers on 553 billion in trade, and China on 420 billion, compared to only 171 billion for the United States.


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