The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on U.S. and China trade Wednesday. Committee Chair Richard Neal said China’s purchase commitments as part of the phase one agreement may be hard-pressed to happen due to the coronavirus. “The potential economic consequences for an undiversified supply chain looks like it could be severe. In the meantime, the only strategy the president seems to have offered is a promise of more bailouts for farmers. The U.S. needs to obtain China’s commitment to a structural change that will make a real difference.” Farmers provided testimony on the trade war impact and Market Facilitation Program payments. Crookston, Minnesota farmer Tim Dufault told lawmakers the ag economy doesn’t live on promises. “Until China buys, we’re not buying the promise,” said Dufault. “While there are some good provisions in the phase one trade deal addressing non-tariff trade barriers, those are singles when we need a home run. Similarly, the administration’s trade mitigation payments, while a welcome to many struggling farmers including myself, they do nothing to alleviate the long-term consequences of this trade war.”
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