Lighthizer: China deal remains priority

The US Trade Representative says finalizing a trade deal with China continues to be one of the top priorities for the Trump Administration. 

During a hearing with the Senate Finance Committee, Robert Lighthizer told committee members the President is keeping farm country in mind as they move through trade negotiations.  “Particularly with respect to China – no one has a bigger upside to opening up China than agriculture,” he says.  “Well sell them, in a normal year, $18 to $19 billion worth of product.  Less last year for a variety of reasons.”

Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says she doesn’t think the Trump Administration has agriculture as a priority.  “The budget came out yesterday,” she says.  “It has a 31 percent cut in farm bill programs for Rural America.  Plus a 15 percent cut to the USDA to be able to enforce and provide the farm bill programs.”

Stabenow says nobody has been more negatively impacted from the President’s actions on China than agriculture. 

Lighthizer says he’s hopeful the Administration is in the final weeks of talks and a deal will be secured soon.

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