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Reynolds Addresses Recent Chinese Trade Actions
Iowa Ag Connection - 04/11/2018

Gov. Kim Reynolds addressed recent actions on trade with China on Tuesday at a media conference at the State Capitol. The governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and a half dozen members of the agriculture and manufacturing community.

"Iowa has benefitted from our long-standing relationship with China by establishing new and expanded opportunities for our agriculture commodities and equipment," Gov. Reynolds said. "Ties between Iowa farmers and China continue to grow. That's why escalation of tariffs across the world is concerning, and the potential Chinese tariffs produce real issues."

On March 23, the United States put a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. In response, China placed retaliatory tariffs of 15-25 percent on 128 American products, including pork.

On April 3, the United States released a list of $50 billion worth of Chinese imports that would face a 25 percent tariff. On April 4, China said it would put an additional 25 percent tariff on more than 100 American goods, including soybeans, beef, corn and ethanol.

On April 5, President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider $100 billion worth of additional tariffs. The last three proposed tariffs won't go into effect for 60 days.

"Farmers tend to be early targets in trade disputes, and the markets have reflected that uncertainty," Gov. Reynolds said. "The potential damage to export markets comes at a difficult time for our agriculture economy, with depressed commodity prices adding uncertainty for farmers as they head into the 2018 planting season."

The governor added she agrees with the Trump administration that China has been a bad actor related to forced technology transfer, stealing trade secrets and intellectual property and innovation.

"No one wins in a trade war," Reynolds said. "While some disruption may be necessary and part of the negotiation process, this can't be done on the backs of our farmers. It's important we find a reasonable agreement and make sure it's targeted and done in a timely manner, which will help mitigate the risk of losing market share."

Gov. Reynolds talked to U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad on Monday and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. Both Dir. Mulvaney and Sec. Perdue assured the governor the USDA has the authority to mitigate market disruptions.

A public comment period on the proposed tariffs runs until May 22. A public hearing will be held May 15.

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