Phase One of U.S. and China Trade Agreement Signed; Randy Giumarra Shares From Event
WASHINGTON, DC - Phase One of what the Trump Administration and the USDA say will further open China’s food and ag market to American products was officially signed yesterday, January 15. Select representatives from industries influenced by the U.S. and China’s economic and trade agreement were invited to this key moment at the White House.
Randy Giumarra, Vice President of Sales at Giumarra Vineyards and Board Chairman of the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), was among those to witness this moment in the long journey between both countries.
“We are grateful to President Trump and his entire negotiating team for reaching a Phase One deal with China," Giumarra said. "It is a promising first step which we are confident will result in lower tariffs and increased grape and stonefruit sales to this valuable market."
With wide-ranging industry expertise across multiple categories and longtime leadership within fresh produce both at Giumarra Vineyards and the CFFA, Giumarra was among just 200 invited to attend the Phase One signing.
"In 2018, the table grape industry experienced an $80 million decline in crop value, primarily due to the impact of the trade war with China. Additionally, in 2018, California plums saw a $28 million decline as a result of the Chinese tariffs. While the agriculture industry looks forward to a permanent solution that allows us to increase exports to this growing market, we believe Phase One will help farmers. This, in turn, generates more rural economic activity and promotes job growth. Our members look forward to working with the administration to find the final solution that is good for our country and for American agriculture so we can ship fresh, healthy fruit to consumers in China and the rest of the world,” Giumarra concluded.
According to the joint statement released by the White House and USDA, the Phase One agreement addresses structural barriers to trade and will support a dramatic expansion of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood product exports, increase American farm and fishery income, generate more rural economic activity, and promote job growth.
“Since 2009, China has been one of the top four largest export markets in the world for U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products. China’s rapidly-developing economy has become one of the fastest growing markets in the world. While China represents a major market for U.S. agricultural exports, China’s overly restrictive and burdensome import requirements have hampered the ability of U.S. farmers to compete on a level playing field,” the administration said in the release.
The CFFA noted that, since the tariffs have been put in place, China dropped from the third largest California table grape export market to the seventh in 2018. In 2019 it dropped again to fifteenth, and the total volume of grapes shipped to China was down 83 percent from the previous year.
“The signing of Phase One today comes to much delight of the California fresh fruit industry. Tariff mitigation in all its forms has been very helpful to producers in California. CFFA would like to thank the Administration for its continued focus on this issue and looks forward to the President’s continued leadership in negotiating a deal that includes getting the tariffs removed,” Association President Ian LeMay said in a press release.
This phase is the first step in an eight-part agreement. The Wall Street Journal reports the move acts as a cease-fire in what now stands as a two-year-long trade war between both countries, but it leaves in place U.S. tariffs on about $370 billion in Chinese goods, or about three-quarters of Chinese imports to the U.S.
As more information continues to be released, AndNowUKnow will report the latest as it pertains to our industry.