Daines to Lighthizer: Montana Farmers and Ranchers Need Access to New Markets

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today in a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing urged United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to advance and finalize trade agreements with Japan and China to put Montana farmers and ranchers on a level playing field in the global stage.

Daines to Lighthizer 

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“We’re now behind in Japan, because our other allies have signed agreements…and they are going to receive the benefits of the tariff reductions. My malt barley folks were in talking to me yesterday, and they literally showed me the contracts they’ve lost in Japan,” Daines said.

Yesterday, Daines met with Montana barley growers to discuss trade.

To watch the full hearing, click HERE.


On November 21, 2018, U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to President Trump showing support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and to urge passage of the trade deal.

On April 24, 2018, U.S. Senator Steve Daines pressed USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to support reconsidering the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that the TPP would benefit U.S. and Montana agriculture. Secretary Perdue agreed and has urged the President to reconsider TPP.

On April 12, 2018, at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Steve Daines voiced the concerns of Montana farmers and ranchers to the President by urging the President to expand access to markets critical to the agriculture community.

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.