Statement on Need for Accountability and Transparency on Phase One Deal

Farmers for Free Trade Co-Executive Director Brian Kuehl today released the following statement on the need for accountability and transparency on the Phase One agreement. Farmers for Free Trade is asking that the administration provide details about the promised $40 billion in ag purchases, whether that commitment is contingent on any actions by the U.S. and for details on how China will meet this commitment if it’s actually been made.
“We were told Mexico would make massive ag purchases from the U.S. and that the E.U. would make huge purchases of U.S. ag products. Neither of those promises were fulfilled. Now we’re being told that China will double the level of its historic purchases. Needless to say, there is a healthy skepticism about whether American farmers will actually see these 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 that they had 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 that the only way to boost U.S. ag exports to China in a sustainable fashion is to end the trade war and get back to doing what we do best – growing the safest, highest quality food at the most affordable prices. We need government to get out of the way and let us go back to work.”