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NMPF Leads China Letter Urging Trade Tension De-escalation

January 4, 2024

NMPF signed and helped lead outreach for signatories on a Dec. 12 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party that argued against escalating trade tensions with China.

In its report released shortly thereafter on fortifying the American economy to compete with China, the Committee refrained from calling for a complete repeal of China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status – a decision that would have serious repercussions for U.S. dairy farmers.

Since Congress first granted China PNTR status in 2000, Chinese demand for U.S. agricultural exports has rapidly grown. China now purchases 19% of America’s food and agriculture exports and is the third largest export destination for U.S. dairy products. The letter warns of the potential fallout from PNTR revocation, citing as an example Chinese retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products after the U.S. imposition of Section 232 and 301 tariffs on Chinese goods. Those retaliatory tariffs led to a significant reduction in U.S. dairy exports to China.

While the final select committee report stops short of calling for outright revocation of China’s PNTR status, the recommendations urge Congress to move China to a “new tariff column” to decrease reliance on Chinese imports and develop U.S. leverage to address trade issues.

NMPF strongly opposes increased tariffs on Chinese imports that could invite additional retaliatory measures against U.S. dairy and agricultural exports – a message that NMPF continues to highlight on Capitol Hill as the select committee’s recommendations are considered for further action.