Ag Policy Blog

Schumer, Others Declare Support for Tariffs Against China

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Not everybody is opposed to President Donald Trump's tariff moves against $34 billion in Chinese goods.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in an interview Sunday on a New York radio program, agreed with Trump that China doesn't treat the U.S. fairly.

“It’s going to take a little bit of toughness at the beginning. China will bark back. But they need us more than we need them, President Trump is right about that, and we should be strong. So I thought what he did on China is right,” Schumer said, according to The Hill.

Schumer talked in the interview about intellectual property and cybertheft.

"Not only do they steal our intellectual property, they keep our good companies out, and say the only way you’re going to be able to sell your American products in China … is if you come to China, make them there, and give us the techniques and intellectual property,” he added. https://goo.gl/…

The U.S. announced its initial traunch of $34 billion intariffs against China on Friday. China followed suit by announcing comparable tariffs against several U.S. exports, including soybeans, the largest ag commodity exported to China by the U.S.

Members of the Coalition for a Prosperous America also support the U.S. tariffs against Chinese products, citing the need to defend high-tech industries in the U.S.

“This is a long overdue step. The bottom line is that China steals American technology by any possible means, then sells it back to the US at a profit," said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. "In doing so, Beijing is not only directing the erosion of America’s competitiveness in high-tech industries, but ensuring that domestic US companies go out of business at the same time. This is an open-and-shut case of predatory behavior and outright theft, and it will be interesting to hear how critics of the president’s trade strategy can possibly excuse criminal behavior on the part of China. Anyone supporting open trade and the free market should appreciate the president’s carefully considered enforcement of existing US trade law."

Most of the leaders in other groups quoted by CPA in a statement about the tariffs were from companies involved in metals, tool or electronic industries, but among them was also Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Funds United Stockgrowers of America).

"My organization represents cattle producers across the country. Our industry has been harmed by trade cheating and trade deficits due in part to subsidized imports and lack of country of origin labeling," Bullard said. "We support the president's actions on China technology theft as well as a future comprehensive strategy to increase domestic producers' market share of the US market."

At a congressional hearing in March, U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer told senators the Trump Administration's approach against China is to target high-tech industries China is developing with a strategy to dominate these markets globally by 2025. Lighthizer pointed to advanced robotics, information technology automated equipment, aerospace technology, as well as agricultural machinery, biopharma and advanced medical products. China has engaged in unfair practices to steal technology in these industries, the ambassador said. Lighthizer also cautioned lawmakers that it was not possible to avoid taking action just because it could negatively impact agriculture in the short-term.

"Every time we take a trade action agriculture is in the cross hairs and it is something we are very sympathetic to," Lighthizer said at the time.

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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SD Farmer
6/19/2018 | 11:32 AM CDT
Better rewrite this Farm Bill for the market conditions today. Anyone rubber stamping the same ole trash should be voted out. I heard that we were going to be protected in this trade war and the politicians are patting themselves on the back for this Farm Bill they are promoting. We must all be fools! How about updating the loan rates, that way people know where they are at and where the bottom is, not more of this lottery schemed ARC and PLC. Interest rates rising, dollar strengthening and a trade war at the same time; farmers need updated loan rates, not fairy dust programs! Get ready for the 80s Ag! The only thing there is bipartisan support for is failed policy. They have a lot to be proud of!