Trade deals put Kansas in good stead

Roger Marshall
Special to Gannett Kansas

Phase One of the new China trade deal was signed Wednesday at the White House by President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The enormous agreement represents an enormous victory for Kansas agriculture producers and manufacturers. This is yet another promise kept by our President that will continue to improve the lives of all Americans.

As part of the Phase One agreement, China will buy $200 billion worth of American goods and services over the next two years, nearly doubling our U.S. exports to the country and further narrowing the gap on our longstanding trade deficit. Agriculture goods will account for nearly $100 billion of the purchases, providing a much-needed boost to the industry that accounts for more than 40% of our state’s economy.

In the near term, this deal brings an end to the threat of additional tariffs that have caused commodity prices to fluctuate, giving producers more certainty and the ability to better plan for the upcoming growing seasons. Our farmers and ranchers have borne the brunt of the effects from this trade battle, and I am happy to say that things will get better soon. The patriotism our Kansas producers have shown has been nothing short of honorable.

Concerns about China upholding its end of Phase One are legitimate. Decades of them reneging on commitments aren’t lost on me. Thankfully our negotiation team, led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and our fellow Kansan Gregg Doud, required that this deal include the authority for President Trump to swiftly reinstate all tariffs and impose new ones, if needed, and thus avoid the long drawn-out decisions by the WTO.

Global trade disputes don’t end overnight and as the President and his team have acknowledged, there is still work to be done on China. Phase Two negotiations are already underway and I will continue to advocate for Kansas agriculture directly to the Administration.

President Trump’s efforts to solidify deals with our four largest export markets — Mexico, Canada, Japan and now China, will give Kansans the confidence needed to move into the next decade and beyond. These four countries, along with the completed trade deal with South Korea, represent over half of our county’s trade.

This sets the stage for the rest of our trade agreements. We’ve made it through the hard pass and better days of fair and reciprocal trade lay ahead for many generations.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall represents the Kansas 1st District and is running for the U.S. Senate.