Trade issues with China continue

 

By Ron Sterk, MEAT+POULTRY

08.08.2019

 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The “list of unwarranted trade barriers is long” with China, Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, assistant US Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy, said Aug. 6 at the International Sweetener Symposium, sponsored by the American Sugar Alliance.

 

The United States wants a trade deal with “actual, verifiable and enforceable” results, and we are seeking structural changes in China, Lauritsen said. She also clarified China’s latest action against the United States. Prior to last week, certain products were exempt from tariffs. After Aug. 3, no sales are exempt.

 

“We’ll have to see what that means,” she said.

 

China’s retaliatory action was in response to President Donald Trump’s earlier announcement of new 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of US imports from China that were not previously included in tariffs, effective Sept. 1.

 

Lauritsen also noted several bilateral trade talks that the United States was involved in or soon would be, including Japan, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Brazil, along with several African nations that have expressed interest in trade deals.

 

With Japan, the United States’ third largest agricultural export market, she noted “multiple trade barriers, including Japan’s high tariffs on certain products.”

 

Concerning the UK, “We will be ready as soon as they are ready,” Lauritsen said, noting that the UK situation was dependent on whether it had a “hard” or “soft” exit from the EU on Oct. 31.

 

There are major scope issues with EU, she said, with the United States insisting that agriculture be part of any trade talks but the EU refusing.

 

She called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement a “state of the art” deal reflecting the Trump administration’s view on trade...

 

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