Everyone in the MonDak was talking about the China trade deal Wednesday, Jan. 15. Reactions ranged from praise for the final deal, to criticism of the turmoil caused by the trade war along the way.
“Today is an important day for the U.S. Beef Industry. North Dakota ranchers welcome important provisions included in the Phase One Chinese trade agreement that support our nation’s cattle industry and remove onerous, non-science-based barriers that have limited our business opportunities with the largest country in the world. The agreement opens the door to new opportunities in a market that’s home to 1.4 billion people — one-fifth the world’s population — and with a growing middle class and demand for high-quality beef like we raise here on ranches across North Dakota. The Chinese market reopened to U.s. beef in 2017, after being banned for more than a decade, yet unfounded trade sanctions have stood in the way of realizing our potential there. today’s agreement is an important step in the right direction for science-based trade and will help our cattle industry unlock our potential, as we have only begun to scratch the surface there.”
— North Dakota Stockmen’s Association President Dan Rorvig
“We hope this first phase of the deal is real and not just rhetoric. The trade war the president said would be easy has been extremely difficult. Farmers and ranchers paid the price. I’m cautiously optimistic, but the agreement doesn’t cover our lost sales to China, and it will take time to regain our market share and restore our reputation as a reliable trading partner. Hopefully, this will create the demand we need to move our markets up. Until vessels carrying U.S. agricultural products are landing in Chinese ports, I’m going to be holding my breath a bit. Enforcement will be key. We will need to mend fences with other countries to hold China’s fee to the fire. We should have used a coalition of trading partners from the start.”
— NDFU President Mark Watne
“I am thankful for the leadership of President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer on this deal. I am extremely pleased to see these unjustified trade barriers being removed and market access being enhanced for our agricultural producers, manufacturers and innovators. This agreement brings predictable trade and meaningful, enforceable structural reforms to address intellectual property, technology transfers and currency manipulation. The world benefits from this agreement because it brings accountability and transparency.”
— North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring
“With China committing to purchase at least $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services over the next two years, including $40 billion to $50 billion in agricultural goods, this agreement represents a major win for North Dakota farmers and ranchers, who are among the best in the world and can compete with anyone on a level playing field,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their efforts to eliminate trade barriers, improve market access and provide additional certainty to our ag producers, manufacturers and innovators, while also securing greater protections for intellectual property and technology transfers. Along with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement signed last October, this deal move us in the right direction toward fixing imbalances and ensuring fairer trade for all Americans.
— Gov. Doug. Burgum
“This agreement is very important for our farmers and ranchers, as China has agreed to purchase $40-$50 billion in agriculture products as well as reduce barriers,” said Hoeven. “We’ve repeatedly made the case to the Administration about the importance of securing ag purchases as part of any agreement with China, because we need to recapture the Chinese market for crops like soybeans, as well as expand it for products like beef. This phase one agreement is good for our producers and our economy.”
— Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D.
“This deal is a major victory for the United States and for North Dakota. It includes China committing to purchase $200 billion of American products over two years, with $40 billion for agricultural goods, while also pledging to stop intellectual property theft and currency manipulation. I thank President Trump for fighting tirelessly to deliver trade deals that are good for North Dakota’s producers and put American interests first.”
— Senator Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
“What an honor to be here with Commissioner Joe Briggs of Cascade County, Great Falls Montana, for this historic U.S.-China trade signing ceremony,” Daines said. “I’ll tell you what, it means billions of dollars for our ag industry which is a big deal for Montanans, so big shout out to President Trump and his team here.”
— Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont.
“Today’s phase one agreement with China is a welcome first step but we shouldn’t pat ourselves on the back when we have a lot more work to do to end this self-inflicted trade war. Montana producers are hurting, and I’m going to keep fighting to make sure today’s deal is enforceable and that China delivers on what they promised, because family farms and Main Street businesses are on the line.”
— Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont.
“After so many months of uncertainty and escalating tensions, it is a good sign that our two countries appear to have found common ground. We are hopeful that this deal will meaningfully address China’s problematic trade practices and intellectual property theft as well as finally establish some stability for American farmers’ export markets. But given the numerous deals that have been reached and then breached in the past two years, we are also skeptical. And without more concrete details, we are deeply concerned that all of this pain may not have been worth it. Not only has this trade war cost farmers billions of dollars worth of sales to China, but it has also bruised our reputation, making other trading partners reluctant to work with us. To justify these lasting damages, this deal must deliver more than vague, unenforceable, short-term commitments – we need real and lasting behavioral change from China, and we need reliable and robust agricultural export markets. That is the standard the Trump administration should be aiming for as it negotiates the next phase of this agreement.”
— NFU President Roger Johnson
“This agreement is proof President Trump’s negotiating strategy is working. While it took China a long time to realize President Trump was serious, this China Phase I Deal is a huge success for the entire economy. This agreement finally levels the playing field for U.S. agriculture and will be a bonanza for America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers,” said Secretary Perdue. “China has not played by the rules for too long, and I thank President Trump for standing up to their unfair trading practices and for putting America first. We look forward to exporting to Chinese customers hungry for American products.”
— USDA Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue