Hoeven Again Presses President to Help Move USMCA Through Congress, Advance Trade Negotiations with China & Secure Additional Commodity Purchases

Senator Working to Provide Certainty & Foreign Market Access for Ag Producers, Other Exporters

WASHINGTON – At a meeting with President Donald Trump today, Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, again pressed for the administration to:

  • Help move the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) through Congress.
  • Advance trade negotiations with China, as well as with nations like Japan.
  • Secure additional commodity sales and the opening of new markets while trade negotiations continue.

Hoeven spoke with the President at the Capitol today as part of his ongoing work to ensure the administration resolves trade negotiations as soon as possible, providing certainty and better access to foreign markets for farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and other exporters.

“I spoke with the President again today to keep the ball moving forward on both finalizing trade deals and securing additional commodity purchases.” said Hoeven. “That means passing the USMCA through the House and the Senate, making progress in our negotiations with China and other important foreign markets and, in the meantime, providing some relief to producers through purchases, like we’ve recently seen for soybeans and corn. Farm country in particular is facing some real challenges right now, so we will continue working and focusing on advancing these priorities.”  

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

The senator has been working with the administration to advance trade with Canada and Mexico. Specifically, he is working to:

  • Eliminate Canada’s Downgrade of U.S. Wheat: Hoeven worked to ensure that the USMCA eliminates Canada’s automatic downgrade of imported U.S. wheat to feed grade, to help make certain that grading standards and services are non-discriminatory.
  • Lift Section 232 Tariffs: Hoeven led the North Dakota delegation in urging the administration to lift the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico while Congress considers the USMCA. Doing so would aid in the removal of Canada and Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. agriculture producers, as well as help lower prices for farmers who rely on equipment made with steel.

Trade with China

Hoeven continues to urge the administration to resolve trade negotiations with China as soon as possible to address China’s unfair trade practices and provide better access to Chinese markets, particularly for farmers and ranchers. Additionally, the Senator has pressed for:

  • Commodity Purchases: During today’s conversation as well as his meeting at the White House earlier this month, Hoeven encouraged the administration to push for further commodity purchases like China’s recent commitment to buy an additional 10 million metric tons of soybeans as well as its purchase of 300,000 metric tons of corn, the largest since October 2013. Hoeven has also raised the same points in recent conversations with Vice President Mike Pence, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council and the President’s chief economic advisor.
  • Fresh Potato Exports: Hoeven joined a bipartisan, bicameral group in urging the administration to prioritize market access for U.S. potato growers as it continues trade negotiations with China. Access to the Chinese market for fresh potatoes would support significant economic growth for producers, and accordingly, this priority has been included on every bilateral agenda between the two nations since 2000.
  • WTO Ruling Against China: The senator fully backed the U.S. Trade Representative’s World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance case against China. The WTO recently ruled China’s price supports for wheat and other grains are in violation of WTO rules.

Trade with Brazil

In advance of President Trump’s meeting with the president of Brazil earlier this month, Hoeven wrote to encourage the administration to prioritize the elimination of trade barriers to U.S. wheat exports with Brazil, which is the second largest economy in the western hemisphere. Following that meeting, the administration announced that Brazil will allow the importation of 750,000 tons of wheat without tariffs. 

Brazil also agreed to science-based conditions to allow the importation of U.S. pork. In return, the Trump Administration will direct USDA to schedule a technical visit to audit Brazil’s raw beef inspection system before allowing for the resumption of Brazil’s beef exports. Hoeven said he will urge the Administration to hold Brazil to the strictest health standards before agreeing to any beef imports.