May 8, 2018 - Washington, D.C. – In his ongoing efforts to fight for California agriculture, on Monday Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) led other California members of the U.S. House of Representatives in calling on the Administration to replace its tariffs with a “strategic,” allied approach for addressing unfair or unbalanced trade practices.
The message, sent to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, expresses deep concern regarding the $3 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs China has imposed on more than 80 agriculture products since President Trump raised tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on March 8th. “In 2017 alone, California exported approximately $28.5 billion in products to China,” the letter states.
After acknowledging that deceptive or unbalanced trade practices must be addressed, the letter continues with, “The currently proposed tariffs will not effectively advance our shared goal of changing China’s harmful practices” and calls on the Administration “to address these fundamental challenges through aligned efforts with our allies across the globe and abandon the current back and forth retaliation that will ultimately impact both rural and urban businesses in California and across the nation.”
Rep. Costa has been urging the Administration to rethink its approach to trade since the Administration’s plans to raise steel and aluminum tariffs became public in early March. Costa warned the House of Representatives in March that California agriculture would “likely feel the most intense and direct pain from these tariffs. California farmers and ranchers earned roughly 44% of their total revenue from international trade in 2016. But this pain will radiate across the country.”
Congressman Costa was joined today in sending the letter to Lighthizer by lead Republican, Representative David G. Valadao (CA-21), and Representatives Jeff Denham (CA-10), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Steve Knight (CA-25), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), and John Garamendi (CA-03).