NASDA's Executive Director, Public Policy, Nathan Bowen, testified at the Section 301 Committee Hearing at the U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday, May 15. The hearing, entitled "Section 301 Committee Public Hearing on China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation," is being held over a three day period this week to evaluate the U.S. Trade Representative's investigation as well as the level of tariffs that should potentially be levied against Chinese imports to the U.S.
Bowen began his testimony by acknowledging the investigation's findings while also cautioning against tariffs, "While NASDA appreciates and agrees with the Administration's finding of China's restrictive economic and trade policies, we are concerned about the potential ramifications to U.S. agriculture - especially when crop prices are down 40 percent since 2013 and farm income is down 50 percent. Instead of new tariffs, we believe bilateral negotiations and engaging a coalition of like-minded countries, will more effectively advance the Administration's goal of free and fair trade with China, while minimizing the risk to agriculture."
Testifying against the proposed trade enforcement action alongside NASDA was Michelle Erickson-Jones, a member of the National Wheat Growers Association Board of Directors and a spokeswoman for the agricultural trade coalition Farmers for Free Trade. Earlier in the day Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) testified against the proposed tariffs, citing the potential for Chinese retaliation against U.S. agricultural products. It is expected that Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND-At-Large) will testify for similar reasons on Wednesday.