U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai took on tough Ag-related issues, including China, USMCA and the war in Ukraine, during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Ambassador Tai listed administration trade wins, including in agriculture, refuting GOP criticism it hasn’t been enough.
“Lifted retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars of agricultural exports, the agreement with Japan will allow our exporters to meet Japan’s growing beef demand, we regained access to the EU for our shellfish industry and opened U.S. access for pork exports to India. We are also realigning the U.S.-China trade relationship.”
But Tai says those talks have accomplished little. “We launched a conversation with the PRC about its Phase I purchase commitment shortfalls and broader non-market policies, last fall. Those discussions have been unduly difficult, and we need to turn the page on the old playbook.” And boost U.S. investment in innovation to maintain global competitiveness.
On enforcement of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, especially access to the Canadian dairy market. Tai; “I think that there was a clear understanding on our side that dairy market access would be improved under the USMCA, and we have not seen that. And so, from a USTR perspective, we will not give up…we will continue to work with our stakeholders.”
And on Russia’s war on Ukraine and possible world food shortages from lost grain production. “I have been talking to some very smart people, one of them Tom Vilsack, about the food security issue, but to your point, let’s really, really focus.” Responding to Arizona Republican David Schweikert, who warned that without action within a month, in time for planting season, millions around the world face possible starvation,