WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) yesterday joined the Ways and Means Full Committee hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the 2020 trade agenda to discuss the U.S.-China relationship. Rep. LaHood asked Ambassador Lighthizer to provide an update on the agriculture purchases China is obligated to make in the Phase One trade agreement between the U.S. and China. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of the work being done on the China Task Force and discussed different mechanisms to help bring supply chains back to the US from China.
You can watch the full remarks here. Congressman LaHood’s remarks have been transcribed below and lightly condensed.
“Thank you, Chairman, for holding this hearing and I want to welcome Ambassador Lighthizer. Ambassador, thank you for your leadership in the trade space. You have made us proud in the negotiations of USMCA, Phase One with China, and the deal with Japan. Your focus on reciprocal trade and a pro-growth agenda will reap benefits for the United States.
“It’s been mentioned today about the obligations that China has between now and the end of the year on purchase agreements. I wondered if you could give an update on agriculture purchases, roughly $50-$60 billion that China is obligated to come through on contractually between now and the end of the year. I know they have bought a significant amount of sorghum and cotton. I would be interested in knowing where they are on soybeans, corn, and ethanol.
“Secondarily, as you may be aware, the Republican Leadership has put together a China Task Force and I have been appointed to that by Leader McCarthy. We are working diligently on coming up with a comprehensive report on China. There is a lot of talk in Congress about decoupling and bringing back supply chains, particularly with the vulnerabilities we saw with the coronavirus as it relates to pharmaceuticals and generic drugs. I am wondering if you can comment on the Administration’s position as it relates to bringing supply chains back. These are complicated and nuanced issues. If we are going to do that, there is a significant cost associated and I am wondering if you can comment on that. Does this come for tax incentives or do you believe the government has to put money in to bring back those supply chains?”