Mar 14 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to increase U.S. agricultural exports and improve the competitiveness of U.S. products abroad.   

“We write to express deep concern with the continued erosion of critical markets for U.S. agricultural exports. For decades, the United States steadily increased market access for U.S. food and agricultural products. We accomplished this feat through negotiations of actual free trade agreements, removal of technical barriers to trade, and holding our trading partners accountable to their commitments, all of which have helped strengthen the agriculture economy at home and developed important strategic relationships abroad,” the senators wrote.  

“We expect trade to fluctuate in response to macroeconomic factors and market conditions. However, the current sharp decline in U.S. agricultural exports is directly attributable to and exacerbated by an unambitious U.S. trade strategy that is failing to meaningfully expand market access or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. While the Biden administration continually refuses to pursue traditional free trade agreements, China, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and others continue to ink trade pacts that diminish American export opportunities and global economic influence,” the senators continued.

“We further ask the Biden administration to take steps to analyze and consider the relationship between U.S. competitiveness and market share in foreign agricultural markets with negotiated tariffs, tariff rate quotas, and other market access provisions.  A continued decline in U.S. agricultural exports is avoidable and unacceptable. The Biden administration must take immediate action to ensure this does not become a long-term trend. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter,” the senators concluded.

Full text of the letter is available HERE.