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Opinion: Donald Trump will protect American farmers from China’s trade retaliation

This news story was published on June 26, 2018.
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By Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture

In 2011, a group of Chinese nationals dug up genetically engineered seeds from an Iowa corn field and planned to steal and send them back to China, so they could be reverse engineered. Those seeds, the result of years of research and millions of dollars of American investment, now stand as one of countless pieces of evidence in the case against China for intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices.

Now, President Donald Trump is standing up to China, which wrongly believes it can bully our farmers to get America to back away from defending our national interests. The president understands that our farmers feed, fuel and clothe this nation and the world, and he will not allow U.S. agriculture to bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tactics.

American producers have benefited from the policies of the Trump administration, including historic tax reforms and reduced regulations. And farmers know that 20 cents of every dollar of their income relies on trade, which is why they are watching the situation with China closely. The simple truth is that when trading partners break the rules, there must be consequences.

Pressuring China

To stop China’s predatory attacks on America’s innovation base, President Trump is instituting a program of tariffs and is considering investment restrictions and strengthened export controls. These tariffs will help pressure the Chinese to stop engaging in unfair practices and fully open up its markets to U.S. products, including U.S. technologies. The correct response from China would be to stop stealing from Americans and give American products a level playing field to compete in China, not to retaliate and reinforce its own position.

There is no denying that the disruption in trade relations with China is unsettling to many in agriculture, but if the president succeeds in changing China’s behavior, America’s farmers will reap the benefits.

In the meantime, the president has instructed me to craft a strategy to support our farmers in the face of retaliatory tariffs. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we have tools at our disposal to support farmers faced with losses that might occur due to downturns in commodities markets. To this point, we have not unveiled our strategy, as it is not good practice to open our playbook while the opposing team is watching.

But farmers should know this: They have stood with President Trump and his policies, and we will make good on our promise to stand with them as well. If China does not soon mend its ways, we will quickly begin fulfilling our promise to support producers, who have become casualties of these disputes.

Without question, there is much at stake for this nation in trade disagreements. A bullying and predatory China has made no secret of the fact that it seeks to acquire America’s technological crown jewels by any means necessary — through physical and cybertheft, forced technology transfer, evasion of our export controls, and state-directed and -funded investment in sensitive technology. And while it may seem outrageous, China has rejected American genetically engineered products, while sending agents crawling in corn fields to pilfer samples of our technology and even purchasing a company that provides U.S. farmers with key genetically engineered seeds.

Economic Future

President Trump has said correctly that if China captures the industries of tomorrow, America will not have an economic future to look forward to — and our national security will be severely compromised. Cutting-edge technologies — from artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and biotechnology to aerospace, high-tech shipping and robotics — are critical to our defense. We are faced with a decision: Will others determine our destiny, or will we control our own future?

China began raiding our economy long before a team of thieves infiltrated that Iowa corn field, but President Trump aims to stop the larceny now. The president is a tough negotiator, and I am confident that American agriculture will flourish because of trade relationships that are smarter, stronger and better than before. China might underestimate the strength and resolve of American farmers, but the president does not. And he will not allow our agricultural producers to suffer because of China’s continued bad actions.

Sonny Perdue is the Secretary of Agriculture. This op-ed appeared in USA Today on June 25, 2018.

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9 Responses to Opinion: Donald Trump will protect American farmers from China’s trade retaliation

  1. Our New Reality Reply Report comment

    June 28, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Today’s democratic mainstream are radical subversives grown up from the 60’s, or their mutant offspring, conceived during a bad acid trip. Their goal is nothing less then the destruction of a culture they neither accept or understand. Like a child who smashes a toy they can’t make work the way whey want.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 27, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Democrat Pledge: Raise your taxes, Allow Men in Ladies Rooms, Open Borders, Protect Criminals, Insult Trump, Allow Transgenders in Military, Take your Guns, Take Away your Money.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 26, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    I hope this is true. My fear is, the Democrats will try to nip this in the bud, like a fetus in the womb.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 26, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    America was considered an isolationist country before WW2 and we did just fine. The President policies hark back to this idea. Now we are policing the world for just as England, France, and Spain did in their time it is now our time to carry the banner of western values. As for China they are in bed with their neighbor mother Russia. Always have been. We do have a strong military that is their to support trade just as our western forebears did. American Made is the way. Screw these international banker who are in essence foreign agents of the that sinister network..Greed.

  5. John Reply Report comment

    June 26, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    This is very encouraging, America’s farmers have backed this president and said they are willing to go through some short term pain for long term gain. I am glad the administration has a plan to help them get through this. Every one of us will be better off after the dust settles on this issue. I am tierd of looking at everything we purchase these days that says
    “made in China.”

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 26, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Truth is always insulting to the democrap liberal left – if they had a brain they would be dangerous.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 26, 2018 at 10:18 am

      You wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 26, 2018 at 8:28 am

    A whole lot of words but nothing of substance, typical Trump BS.

    How does Sonny breathe with his head so far up Trump’s ass?
    Let me guess Sonny, your support strategy is taxpayer funded subsidies (more farmer welfare).

    “Thoughts and prayers” should fix that problem, it’s the Republican solution to most problems…..

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      How do you breathe with your one track mind, buried in the sand.