In this file:
· Top U.S. Agriculture Trade Negotiator Says China ‘Bristles’ in Talks
· US Ag Trade Problems with China Highlighted
Top U.S. Agriculture Trade Negotiator Says China ‘Bristles’ in Talks
Doud pushing China to open its grains market to freer imports
China unwilling to open corn, rice, wheat markets, Doud says
By Michael Hirtzer, Bloomberg
April 11, 2019
China is reluctant to relinquish control over its domestic grain stockpiles, an issue that has been a sticking point in a broader U.S.-China trade deal, according to America’s top agricultural trade negotiator.
China is unwilling to open its corn, rice and wheat markets to broader market forces that would allow for freer imports, Gregg Doud, the chief agriculture negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, said at an industry conference in Kansas on Thursday. China subsidizes its domestic corn and rice growers, which unfairly boosts supplies and limits imports, he said.
In recent negotiations, Han Jun, China’s vice agriculture minister, had pushed back at the U.S. proposal for China to open its grains market, Doud said.
“I had this conversation with Han Jun. I said, ‘Look, our point is the fact that China has to begin to expose itself to the vagaries of supply and demand in the marketplace in agriculture. You’ve got to reduce your domestic supports, you’ve got to have your tariff-rate quotas work in a way that this exposes you to the marketplace,” Doud said.
‘It Shocked Me’
“From the U.S. perspective, maybe every two or three years you have to buy 5 million metric tons of corn. What I’m going to share with you this evening is his reaction -- because it shocked me. When I said that, he physically bristled. ‘I don’t know if the world can handle it if China buys 5 million tons of corn’ -- that was his answer. That was one of those salient moments that you see what the mindset really is -- they want to have control over this, they don’t want to have that exposure.”
Doud’s comments offer a rare glimpse into one of the sticking points in the negotiations, which is expected in the near future after recent high-level meetings in Beijing and Washington.
The comments may dishearten U.S. farmers, who were hoping...
US Ag Trade Problems with China Highlighted
By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN/Progressive Farmer
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (DTN) — In a speech here Thursday evening to an agricultural commodity futures conference, Gregg Doud, the U.S. chief agriculture negotiator, listed the many problems the United States has with agriculture and trade in China and other countries, but did not mention any achievements in the negotiations with the Chinese.
The speech seemed designed to shore up support in the agriculture community for the Trump administration’s trade agenda as farmers and agribusiness executives become impatient about lost exports. The conference was organized by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Kansas State University.
But when asked afterwards why he had not spoken as other Trump administration officials have about progress in the Chinese talks, Doud said, “I can’t talk about that publicly. I don’t want to lead anybody into the notion it’s going well or going poorly. We’ve still got work to do.”
Doud began his speech by holding up the Trump administration report that showed China taking advantage of the United States in a number of ways. Doud did not mention the issues of steel and aluminum, but cited the ways in which China blocks U.S. agricultural products through nontariff barriers.
“I defy any of you to read the report and not be a hardliner on China,” Doud said.
Doud repeated his previous statements that he has told the Chinese that they should not subsidize agriculture the way the United States did in the 1980s when the U.S. government ended up owning large amounts of commodities. Doud said he told his Chinese counterpart in what may have been their 18th meeting during the current negotiations that China should expose itself to the vagaries of supply and demand even if it has to support five million tons of corn in some future year.
Doud said his counterpart “bristled” at that statement, and said he is not sure the world could handle China buying that much corn.
“They don’t want that exposure,” he said.
Doud added that it troubles him that most of the world’s grain stocks — 54% of wheat, 65% of corn, 68% of rice, 43% of cotton and 23% of soybeans — are in one country that is “Communist and command-controlled.”
He noted that the United States recently won a case against the Chinese subsidies in the World Trade Organization.
The U.S. pork industry needs to increase its exports from 10 percent of production to 25 percent, but exporting to China is a problem because China objects to the U.S. pork producers’ use of ractopamine, a feed additive.
Doud said Congress must approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) because Mexico and Canada take 28% of U.S. farm exports and because approval of the new agreement is key to other trade deals.
“If USMCA, God forbid, gets stuck in the chute and we can’t get a trade deal with Japan, we have a problem,” Doud said.
The U.S. trade relationship with Japan “goes back decades” and the Japanese taught the United States how to meet customer demand in another country, he noted.
Now Europe, Canada and Australia have deals with Japan, but “that relationship we have with Japan is very special and we have to figure out a way to get back in there.”
He did not mention that Japan was in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations from which Trump withdrew.
Doud said he has no idea how the United Kingdom will work out its planned exit from the European Union, but he expressed great frustration with the EU attitude toward agriculture and its unwillingness to import U.S. food products and technology...