Daines: Free, Fair and Smart Trade is Critical to Montana Jobs

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced plans to combat unfair trade practices.

“I support the President’s efforts to make better trade deals for the American worker,” said Daines. “I am relieved he has more narrowly tailored our trade sanctions, than originally proposed, however, I remain concerned that tariffs will increase costs on Montana working families, farmers and ranchers. Free, fair and smart trade is vital to protecting millions of good-paying jobs across our country.”

Daines also released the following statement after 11 Trans-Pacific countries signed a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which did not include the United States.  

“As Trans-Pacific countries move forward with that agreement today, I continue to encourage President Trump to re-engage with these partners and work aggressively to make a deal that works for the American people,” said Daines. “I believe he can secure an agreement that is good for Montana and ensures that workers in America, not China, can sell more of their products in these important markets.”

Daines’ Record on Trade:

On February 16, 2018, Daines led 25 senators in sending a letter to President Trump urging the President to act on his recent statements expressing interest in considering an improved Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

On January 30, 2018, Daines sent a letter to President Trump, reaffirming the benefits on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and urging him to modernize it to reflect the 21st century economy.

On November 20, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to consider the critical role agriculture plays in the U.S, economy and its dependence on trade.

On November 8, 2017, Daines secured an agreement between JD.com, one of China’s largest retailers and the Montana Stockgrowers Association with the intent to purchase a minimum of $200 million in Montana-sourced beef over the next several years. 

On June 28, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Lighthizer, urging him to consider the impact of trade with Mexico and Canada on the U.S. agricultural industry while renegotiating NAFTA.

On June 8, 2017, Daines sent a letter to USTR Ambassador Lighthizer, outlining priorities for a modernized NAFTA.

On May 12, 2017, Daines announced that an agreement was reached to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef no later than July 16, 2017. 

On May 5, 2017, Daines led a letter to the Chinese Premier asking him to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. 

On April 17, 2017, Daines returned from leading an official congressional delegation trip to China where he hand-delivered four Montana steaks from Miles City to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and pressed Chinese officials to finalize negotiations and re-open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Premier Li.

On April 5, 2017, Daines led 39 Senators in asking Trump to prioritize opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef.