Some of the largest and most influential American farm groups are uniting to make their voices heard on reforming trade rules of the World Trade Organization as the institution prepares for its upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference.
The U.S. still only has a relatively small slice of the Chinese market but American whey, skim milk powder, cheese and other products are reaching new highs as China recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and African swine fever.
Lawmakers, lobbyists and farm groups are anxious for the Biden administration to take its first concrete steps to begin negotiating international trade agreements and reform at the World Trade Organization to improve international access for U.S. goods as well as rein in China’s expanding global influence.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’ll make sure the Treasury Department understands the importance of stepped-up basis to farm groups. Vilsack was pressed about that issue during an appearance Wednesday before the House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee.
President Joe Biden pushed back against Republicans who are arguing his infrastructure bill has unrelated items in it. Projects related to clean water, schools and high-speed rail all qualify as infrastructure projects, he said.
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Thursday to consider the nomination of Katherine Tai to be President Joe Biden’s U.S. Trade Representative and point person on the future of trade relations with China.
U.S. pork exports to China are still very strong, but trade is expected to decline as the Chinese rebuild the country’s swine herd after the devastation of African swine fever. That means that U.S. exporters are going to have to rely more on other markets in coming years.
China is celebrating the signing of what will be the world’s largest trade pact, which includes 15 countries representing 30% of global GDP, pushing international trade to the forefront as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.