Congressman Steve King releases video of remarks he delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday morning. In his remarks, King congratulates President Trump for negotiating and signing a Phase One Trade Agreement with China that will significantly increase American ag exports to that country. King represents the number one agricultural producing district in the country, and he has consistently supported President Trump’s efforts to improve American trade deals, deals which are not just limited to today’s Phase One agreement with China, but which also include support for the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement (see: Steve King- Iowans want the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement), and the prospects of a stronger bi-lateral agreement with Britain upon its departure from the European Union. The Phase One Trade Agreement with China was signed by President Trump during a ceremony held in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
“I take the floor today to raise the issue and be thankful of the progress that we’ve made with regard to trade. We’ve been through a year and a half or more of enhanced trade negotiations, and I’ve watched as our markets took a hard hit and tailspinned down for a couple of days, down the limit awhile back, and slowly creeped back in again.
So, we produce a lot of corn and soybeans, and cattle and hogs, and eggs and renewable energy in the 4th Congressional district of Iowa. In fact, it is the number one ag producing Congressional district in all of America. And, so, we saw a publication on the part of Bloomberg that when the tariffs were put on to Chinese goods coming into the United States by President Trump, the Chinese retaliated with tariffs on products like pork and soybeans. And Bloomberg just showed a map of the United States, where that hit the hardest, and it happened to hit exactly over the red counties in America that produce a lot of corn and soybeans. And, you could add to that the other products I mentioned, Mr. Speaker.
But the situation that we’re dealing with now is that we’ve gotten a long ways through this trade negotiation, and we’re coming around to the other side of it with China in spite of all of this difficulty, and all these markets that have been suppressed over this period of time. We’ve found some new trade outlets, for one thing. Instead of having one big pipe going to China, we’ve got multiple smaller pipes going to other locations in the world. And, today, the President signs Phase One of the trade agreement that will increase by about $16 billion a year our ag product exports to China. That includes a lot of soybeans, it includes a lot of pork, and it fixes that component.
It also addresses the intellectual property issue that’s been a big barrier for the trade negotiations with China. The value of US intellectual property, the creation that comes out of the minds of Americans, the value of that that is pirated by the Chinese is somewhere between $500 and $600 billion a year. That gets addressed to a degree in this agreement, and it gets addressed again in the next phase of the agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer has spoken to that issue to me, and he seems to be, I’ll say, fairly confident that we’re going to get at least a reasonable beginning to something that’s awfully hard to fix.
But I would add also, it isn’t just China. We’re waiting now. The U.S. Senate will pass the USMCA agreement. It’s only the impeachment trial that stands in the way of getting that done. That happens soon, within about a month or so, perhaps less. But further, we have Japan, we have South Korea, and by the end of this month the United Kingdom will be out of the E.U. and the door is open for a bilateral trade agreement with the British.
If we can get this all done, as I said to the President the other day, we may find ourselves in the very best position we’ve ever been in, at least in our lifetimes, with regard to trade in multiple locations. So that we’re diversified in our markets, that we can send out to multiple countries and at the same time have a strong trade relationship with China and other countries.
We are moving into an excellent position here. We’ve got a strong economy, we’ve got a strong Dow. This really is a great time to make investments in America, and they’re doing that from around the world.
So, I congratulate the President today, and I yield back the balance of my time, Mr. Speaker.”