Chairman Sets May 17 Hearing for U.S.-China Ag Trade

Apr 13, 2000

Prior to Vote, USDA Secretary, Trade Rep Assess Benefits for U.S. Producers

On May 17, just prior to the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled vote on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) convenes a Committee hearing with lead-off witnesses Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky.  House Ag Chairman Combest and Ranking Minority Member Charlie Stenholm (D-TX) welcome the timeliness of the Glickman-Barshefsky agricultural trade expertise and up-to-date assessments in the days prior to the scheduled vote during the week of May 22.

"China makes all concessions in this deal, while the U.S. gives up absolutely no ground," said Rep. Combest.  "As the vote nears for opening the American farmer's trade opportunities with China, the benefits to U.S. agriculture weigh all the more favorably.  Most recently, the National Pork Producers Council cited an Iowa State University economist 's estimate that trade with China could easily boost the value of hogs by five dollars a head for each of the 100 million U.S. hogs each year.  80 American agriculture groups representing hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers demand open trade in China's markets."

"China represents an agriculture market that is vital to the long-term success of American farmers and ranchers," said Rep. Stenholm.  "Increased trade with China can strengthen the development of private enterprise in that country and improve the lives of its citizens as well."

The May 17 hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Committee's third floor hearing room of the Longworth Building in Washington, D.C.  Public proceedings of the House Agriculture Committee are also carried as they occur on the Committee's web site.