Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) joined 21 of his Ways and Means colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump, urging him to meet directly with President Xi of China to resolve the ongoing trade dispute.
From Rep. Smith:
“Just yesterday, President Trump came together with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to announce a framework for reducing tariffs and other trade barriers between the United States and European Union. President Trump should also meet directly with President Xi to encourage China to cease its negative behavior and bring an end to the trade dispute between our two countries. American manufacturers and producers have been harmed by China’s unfair trade practices, and these issues must be addressed.”
The letter can be downloaded here and its full text is below:
Dear President Trump:
We are writing to urge you to meet directly with President Xi to begin crafting an historic new solution on trade that levels the playing field between China and the United States for U.S. farmers, workers, and businesses. We are confident that if you personally engage with President Xi, you would reinvigorate the negotiations and develop meaningful solutions that will establish free, fair, and lasting trade between the United States and China and improve the competitiveness of U.S. companies. Senior officials in your Administration have gone to great lengths to meet with Chinese officials, but it appears that there are no serious trade discussions underway or currently scheduled that could lead to a solution.
We strongly agree with the conclusions that you and your Administration have made in the recent Section 301 Report that China engages in a wide range of unfair and distortive trade practices harming U.S. companies, farmers, and their employees. These practices include subsidies and other unjustified government support that have led to severe overcapacity in China’s steel, aluminum, and other sectors. These inequitable practices also include the theft of U.S. intellectual property, forced technology transfer, and licensing policies that you and your Administration have identified. We are pleased that you are committed to addressing these challenges to compel change to China’s unfair practices so that U.S. companies can compete on a level playing field.
Our shared objective is long-term and enduring reform in Chinese subsidies, tariffs, and other trade barriers. While tariffs cause short-term economic pain to China, they also boomerang on American companies, farmers, workers, and consumers – and we hear every day from Americans who are caught in a destructive cycle of escalation. A lasting solution can be established only through fundamental change to the Chinese system. Timely and astute negotiations under your leadership are essential to accomplishing this goal.
To your credit, you have developed a strong personal relationship with President Xi. We are confident that this background can provide the platform for tough, candid, and pragmatic discussions with President Xi about solutions for China to reform its unfair trade practices and reduce unacceptable barriers to U.S. trade and investment in China. The stakes are high but the opportunity is upon us.
We recognize that all too often China has refused to discuss the fundamental changes that are needed to establish a trade relationship that is fair for America. We are confident that you have China’s attention on these issues and that you have the ability to negotiate an ambitious and enforceable agreement.
We look forward to working with you in the very near future to accomplish this bold but necessary goal.