Tom Vilsack: China Failed to Abide by Trade Agreement

Tom Vilsack: China Failed to Abide by Trade Agreement Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 20 January 2022 05:08 PM

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Thursday said that China has failed to keep its commitments that the country made with the Trump administration in its Phase One trade agreement, Agri-Pulse reports.

Vilsack said in testimony before the House Agriculture Committee that China has not kept its promise to the United States.

“No,” he said when asked. “They’re $13 billion short on purchases and there are seven key areas where they have yet to perform.”

The secretary noted that several important trade issues have yet to be resolved, including biotech approval, ethanol, and dried distiller grains.

“There are a wide variety of ways we can respond to China … and no doubt we will,” Vilsack said in response to Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan., though he did not elaborate on these ways of responding.

He also said that he has the legal authority to use the Commodity Credit Corp. in order to provide financial support for climate-smart farming projects.

“We feel very confident we have the legal grounds, based on the fact that we will be promoting climate-smart commodities,” Vilsack said to Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.

However, Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., the ranking member of the GOP on the panel, pushed Vilsack to provide a written justification for his legal authority to use the CCC for this from the Office of General Counsel.

“This committee remains skeptical of the legal authority provided to you and your office under the CCC for this program, and looking at the enumerated powers in the (CCC) act, we think that no amount of mental gymnastics could get you there,” Thompson said.