Making China Keep Its Word

Making China Keep Its Word

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With your Southeast Regional Ag News, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

Today we’re touching on a topic that we haven’t discussed for a while: world trade. The World Trade Organization last week said China’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including agriculture products in reaction to actions on steel and aluminum were “inconsistent” with WTO rules.

American Farm Bureau senior director of government affairs Dave Salmonsen says whether or not China complies, it’s still important the World Trade Organization uphold world trade rules against Beijing’s tariff retaliation for national-security-based U.S. metals tariffs…

“It has the weight of the world body behind telling China they really have no basis for continuing these tariffs.”

And some of those tariffs remain…

“Now, some of them are being enforced, and some of them aren’t. It kind of all depends on what China needs.”

But Salmonsen suggests tariffs that are enforced need to be worked out bilaterally, implying outside the WTO. Still, China remains a core U.S. ag market…

“We’re about $36 billion last year, the highest ever. Agricultural trade with China remains very, very strong—still our number one market.”

Despite U.S.-China differences, Salmonsen says countries sometimes “compartmentalize” issues—when they need products, they need them, especially ag products.

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