WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – President Trump signed a trade agreement with China Wednesday morning committing China to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars in American goods and services, and Oklahoma lawmakers are responding to the news.
“Far beyond this deal, it’s going to lead to even more world peace. We now have a big investment in each other,” President Trump said.
The deal marks phase one in a two-part negotiation.
The US scaled back tariffs on Chinese imports and says it may remove all tariffs in phase two.
“It’s going to be so special to our manufacturers, farmers, our bankers, our service people,” Trump said.
“The doubling of United States agricultural exports to China’s a huge deal,” Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture, said.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised the deal, which promised 80 billion in agricultural sales to China over the next two years.
“I’m expecting we’ll get those markets back up fine and quickly,” Perdue said.
The deal also commits China to buy 75 billion in American energy products and more than 210 billion in financial services.
The president says there’s also what he calls an enforcement provision worked into the deal if the Chinese government devalues its currency.
However, some Democrats in the House say the deal only provides modest relief to a situation the president created.
“This is a real serious problem the President created for California agriculture,” Representative John Garamendi, D-California, said.
Congressman John Garamendi also criticized the deal not doing enough to address intellectual property theft and ignoring environmental and human rights abuses.
“This deal, if it is one, really doesn’t even get us back to where we were before Trump started a trade war,” Garamendi said.
President Trump says negotiations for phase two of the deal will start immediately.
Oklahoma legislators respond
“I am cautiously optimistic that today’s trade agreement represents a step forward for Oklahoma businesses, consumers, and workers hurt by the trade war of the past two years. For too long, China has cheated American businesses with forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and other unfair trade practices. Today’s trade agreement addresses those issues and includes a dispute resolution system I hope will encourage prompt implementation and enforcement. At the same time, we must work to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party follows through on this agreement. While it will take time to recover from the trade war, and many harmful tariffs remain in place, I hope today’s deal is a first step towards free and fair trade opportunities for Oklahoma and the United States.” –Congresswoman Kendra Horn.
“Beginning in 2015, then presidential-candidate Donald Trump promised to defend America’s farmers and workers and renegotiate the unfair trade policies between the United States and our trading partners. Since then, President Trump and his Administration have stood behind that promise and today, are delivering a strong and enforceable commitment from China leveling the playing field for America’s farmers, workers, manufacturers, and businesses.
The historic agreement signed today takes a strong stand for American jobs and America’s workers. It protects America’s intellectual property, ends China’s unfair technology transfer process, opens financial services markets, and, most importantly, expands American agriculture, energy, and manufacture sales to China. In 2018, Oklahoma exported $239 million worth of goods to China, including $96 million worth of agricultural products. Today’s agreement is positive news for Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers and begins the process of holding China accountable to its trade commitments.
I commend the President for his work on delivering free, fair, and reciprocal trade between our trading partners and I look forward to working on behalf of all Oklahomans as the Administration expands global markets for our nation’s farmers and workers.” –Congressman Frank Lucas.