Fri, 06 Apr 2018
US - After China announced plans to target US agricultural exports as retaliation for US tariffs, Max Baucus, a former US ambassador to China who is now co-chair of Farmers for Free Trade, released a statement expressing concern about the impact on the US economy.
"This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China."
In the statement, the former senator from Montana wrote that "cotton, soy, sorghum, beef and the other commodities China has targeted are at the heart of the American agricultural economy".
"These commodities support not only farmers, but entire rural communities," he stated.
Mr Baucus said, "A 25 per cent export tax on these commodities into our second-largest agricultural export market will hurt farmers, but also harvesters, processors, truck drivers, rail workers and main street businesses that rely on a strong agricultural economy.
"We urge the administration to reconsider escalating this trade war and will continue to work to amplify the voices of American farmers who are paying the price for it."
On 26 December 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Mr Baucus to replace Gary Locke as the United States ambassador to China. Baucus served in that position from February 2014 to January 2017.
Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), also issued a statement, saying: "It is unsettling to see American-produced beef listed as a target for retaliation.
"Sadly, we are not surprised, as this is an inevitable outcome of any trade war.
"This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China.
"The Trump Administration has until the end of May to resolve this issue. We believe in trade enforcement, but endless retaliation is not a good path forward for either side."