Nebraska Congressman hopes trade issues can be resolved

September 20, 2018

LINCOLN - A Nebraska Congressman holds out hope trade disputes with other countries will be ironed out, and soon.

Congressman Adrian Smith is optimistic trade talks with Canada can be resolved fairly quickly.

“Canada and the U.S. have probably the most productive trade partnership in the world between two countries. Of course, we have a fairly integrated economy,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.

Smith says Canada does have some trade barriers the U.S. wants removed. The two sides seem to be well apart on diary subsidies. Smith says the United States wants Canada to raise the threshold on the amount of U.S. consumer goods which can be taken into Canada without a duty imposed. At present, Canada imposes a duty after $20 while the United States allows its consumers to return with up to $800 worth of Canadian consumer goods before a duty will be imposed.

Smith expects Canada to either reach a bilateral deal with the United States or come to terms to create a modernized NAFTA. Smith says the Trump Administration trade deal with Mexico puts pressure on Canada to reach an agreement.

A trade war with China is brewing.

China vows retaliation after President Trump announced planned levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China added $60 billion of United States products which will now be subject to an import tariff.

The Trump Administration proposed slapping 10% tariffs on Chinese goods beginning Monday with those tariffs increasing to 25% by the end of the year.

In response, China is imposing levies on more than 5,000 U.S. products.

The U.S. currently has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products. President Trump has threatened to expand tariffs on $267 billion worth of additional imports if China doesn’t reach agreement.

Smith says agriculture needs the issues to be resolved.

“We entered this whole trade dispute with kind of some tough times in agriculture to begin with and so that’s an added concern,” Smith says.

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