An American Farm Bureau official says even if it’s tough getting China to comply with a WTO ruling against its retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports five years ago, it was the right decision.
AFB senior director of government affairs Dave Salmonsen says whether or not China complies, it’s still important the World Trade Organization uphold world trade rules against Beijing’s tariff retaliation for national-security-based U.S. metals tariffs.
He says, “Course, we know with the condition of the appellate process at the WTO, it means that without a functioning appellate body, it will be difficult in at least a direct manner, to get that enforced. But it has the weight of the world body behind telling China they really have no basis for continuing these tariffs.”
And some of those tariffs remain; “Almonds, pork, dairy, things like that, so they still have tariffs – and they range, some of them are ten percent, some of them are 20 percent—on the books. Now, some of them are being enforced, and some of them aren’t. It kind of all depends on what China needs.”
But Salmonsen suggests tariffs that are enforced need to be worked out bilaterally, implying outside the WTO. Still, China remains a core U.S. ag market.
He says, “We’re about $36 billion last year, the highest ever. nd of course, we’ll see where that goes this year. But trade, agricultural trade with China remains very, very strong—still our number one market.”
Despite U.S.-China differences, Salmonsen says countries sometimes “compartmentalize” issues—when they need products, they need them, especially Ag products.