Trump extends China tariff deadline, cites ag in USMCA comments
President Donald Trump on Feb. 24 said he would extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports, citing progress in trade negotiations, the Associated Press reported.
In comments to the nation’s governors Trump said the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would benefit farmers.
According to a White House transcript, Trump said he wanted to “thank every governor here today who is supporting our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the USMCA. I’ve long said that NAFTA is the worst trade deal that any country has ever signed. It emptied us out. We had a surplus with Mexico and Canada, and we went to $130 billion trade deficit with the combination of Mexico and Canada. And this deal will bring it back.”
“We’re opening it up to farmers. We’re opening Canada, as an example — and Mexico — to farmers. They were closed. It was a closed shop. They had all sorts of non-monetary trade barriers. And they had monetary trade barriers. They were charging, for certain agricultural products, an almost 300 percent tariff. Nobody ever talked about it. Nobody ever knew about it. And I’d go up to Wisconsin and the farmers would say, ‘Sir, we can’t compete. They’re charging us 287 percent, to be exact.’ I said, ‘You got to be kidding.’
And we did something about it.”
“So the USMCA is very important. It will help our dairy farmers in Wisconsin; our wine makers in Oregon and Washington and California; our autoworkers in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and all over; and dozens of other states, and ranchers and farmers and growers and manufacturers from coast to coast. It’s a very, very comprehensive deal. It’s a deal that nobody thought we’d be able to get approved.
“I was able to get it approved, to be honest with you, by using tariffs. I was putting very substantial tariffs — or was getting ready to — on Canada, who was very tough to negotiate. You know, we think of ‘Oh, Canada.’ Well, ‘Oh, Canada’ is tough. They’re tough.
“And I said, ‘Look, you know, you’re either going to do this or we’re going to put 20, 25 percent tariffs on your cars that you ship in here by the millions.” ❖