Group Wants More Aggressive Work on Trade Deals

Dan Agri-Business, Exports/Imports, Trade


A trade group wants to see more aggressive deals from the Biden Administration. The Biden Administration has taken some heat during its first two years for a lack of new free trade agreements, and a lack of focus on free trade, especially for agricultural products. However, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade says there has been some progress.

Brian Kuehl
Executive Director
Farmers for Free Trade

“We’ll give the Biden administration credit for rolling back tariffs on India,” Kuehl said. He explained that under the Trump administration, President Trump put Section 232 tariffs on India’s steel and aluminum and India responded by retaliating against U.S. food and ag products that were going to India. “Fortunately, the Biden administration rolled back those tariffs in an agreement with India and India agreed to roll back their tariffs on our food and ag products. So, we’ve been able to start exporting again and on a competitive basis. So that’s a place where it’s not necessarily a new market, but maybe a reclaimed market.”

He said beyond that, there’s still a lot of work to do. Kuehl says Farmers for Free Trade would like to see the administration be more aggressive when it comes to trade deals because while we’re not getting trade deals, our competitors are.

“Certainly, Southeast Asia is a place where we’d like to see U.S. food and ag products getting in and then increasing markets. Same with Africa and South America. There are countries all over the world where we don’t have free trade agreements,” he said. “And the scary thing is, China is out negotiating free trade agreements. The EU is out negotiating free trade agreements. Australia is. The U.S. is for the most part, standing on the sidelines when it comes to free trade agreements, and we really need to pick up our pace and work harder.”

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.