CHAIRIMAN, RANKING MEMBER COMMENT ON CHINA BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT, U.S. AGRICULTURE'S MARKET ACCESS
House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) and Ranking Member Charlie Stenholm (D-TX) issued the following statement following a briefing of Agriculture Committee Members by Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
"We are pleased that a bilateral agreement has been signed that will break down the artificial barriers China erected for U.S. meat, wheat, citrus and poultry. It is a longstanding policy under international trade rules that sound science must be the basis for resolution of sanitary and phytosanitary disputes. China has closed its market for far too long to high quality U.S. meat, wheat, citrus and poultry. Under this agreement, China will accept specific science-based standards and our farmers and ranchers will have access to the vast Chinese market.
"Additionally, we are encouraged that the progress made by the U.S. Trade Representative in negotiating the rules for China's accession to the WTO will result in a final agreement that will benefit United States agriculture. The goal is to open China's marketplace and secure China's agreement to trade concessions that result in lower tariffs and improved access. Based on the information provided by the USTR, if the preliminary agreements reached remain a part of a final agreement with China, significant progress has been made. We urge the Administration to continue its negotiations. Free and fair trade agreements are good for U.S. agriculture."