Hoeven Meets with President to Advance USMCA, Trade Negotiations with China

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today met with the President at the White House to help advance consideration of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and to encourage the Administration to finalize trade negotiations with China. Today’s meeting continues Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to ensure the administration resolves trade negotiations as soon as possible, providing certainty and better access to foreign markets, particularly for farmers and ranchers. 

“We had a good meeting with the President today to discuss the importance of advancing the USMCA in Congress. Canada is North Dakota’s largest trading partner and Mexico is number two, so this agreement is important in providing certainty for our farmers, ranchers and other industries.” said Hoeven. “At the same time, I continue urging the administration to secure additional commodity purchases while negotiations continue. Finalizing trade agreements will provide our producers with access to foreign markets, help ensure our farmers receive a good price and maintain a strong economy.”  

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 against steel and aluminum 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: Hoeven recently stressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that agriculture producers need trade certainty, and as negotiations continue, the administration should push for further commodity purchases like China’s recent commitment to buy an additional 10 million metric tons of soybeans. Hoeven has also raised the same points in recent conversations with Vice President Mike Pence 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.