Presidential Candidates Talk Trade

The American Farm Bureau Federation has shared responses to a series of questions it posed to President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The unedited responses to all questions are available at fb.org. This week, Shortliner shares responses to a question about trade.

Question: The United States has worked assertively over many different administrations to set the example for fair and open trade, for resolving trade disputes using sound, science-based principles and standards and for gaining access to new markets. As president, how would you be a proponent for expanding trade and pursuing remedies against nations and their leaders who use various barriers to unfairly shield their markets from competition?

Biden Response

We will develop a comprehensive strategy to aggressively enforce our laws in an effective way whenever it is needed. Critically, we will also look at what new approaches and tools are needed to combat unfair trade practices jeopardizing production and jobs here and to gain access for our products in other markets.

We must address the continuous efforts to evade and circumvent our trade laws and undermine the effectiveness of our trade cases. The issues of global overcapacity, foreign state-owned enterprises, and other problems undermine our interests and can’t continue. Workers deserve to know that their government will stand by their side and stand up for their rights so they don’t have to fight unfair trade on their own or see their jobs offshored and production outsourced.

Foreign cheating will not be allowed in our administration.

Trump Response

A major focus of the Trump Administration has been to renegotiate trade deals that were weak and provided inadequate market access and import protection to US farmers and ranchers. Previous Administrations negotiated trade deals that put our farmers and ranchers in a negative position to those that we compete with in foreign markets. To address this, the Trump/Pence Administration negotiated the following significant multilateral trade agreements:

  • Korea
  • Japan
  • USMCA
  • China phase 1
    • No one knows better than our nation’s farmers and ranchers that for decades, China has stolen our technology, restricted US foreign investment, manipulated their currencies and kept US farm products out of their market.
    • China has begun making purchases under the phase 1 commitment, and in a second Trump Administration term China will have to come back to the table for more access to American farmers.

In each of these agreements the Trump/Pence Administration has negotiated better deals for farmers and ranchers than what was in place previously.

The strategy of negotiating key trade deals on a multilateral basis has been a primary focus of the Trump/Pence Administration. While the Obama/Biden Administration negotiated weak trade deals, focusing on multilateral negotiations, the Trump/Pence team negotiated successful trade agreements with the above.

In addition to the new agreements President Trump has negotiated, we have also stood by are farmers when they were targeted by unjust trade retaliation. Other countries, China in particular, thought they could force us to accept more bad trade deals by targeting our farmers. We have taken some of the revenue we received in tariffs and we have provided $28 billion in direct support to those farms and commodities that have been unjustly targeted.

For too many years, American trade policy has allowed other countries to take advantage of us. Joe Biden doesn’t have a plan on trade, he will revert to the Obama-Biden years of letting China take advantage of us.

President Trump is very grateful to the American farmer for their patriotism that enabled him to stand up to the Chinese and be the first president to force them to change their practices that have resulted in the loss of millions of jobs in the U.S.   President Trump will never ask the American farmer to bear the cost of our important work to make China play by the same rules as the rest of the world

We know our farmers want markets, they want to grow and produce things to sell here in America and to the world, we also know that they want fair and reciprocal trade deals. The farmers have stood with us as we have taken on these unfair trade practices, and we have stood with them. When President Trump wins a second term, other countries already know he means what he says on trade, and we will continue to see more favorable agreements reached in a second term. There will be more opportunities with China if they decide to take more steps to play by the rules, we will get a bigger deal done with Japan, we are in talks with other major Asian countries. President Trump is also eager to finalize a new U.S.-U.K. Trade agreement that includes significant agriculture access, and hopes that can pave the way for progress with the EU as well, one of the most unfair markets to many of our America farmers.