Costa on Tariffs Hurting the San Joaquin Valley
Fresno, CA – Today, Valley Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) issued the following statement in response to the retaliatory tariffs China implemented today, thus continuing the escalation of the trade war between China and the United States:
“We’re all concerned about addressing imbalanced and unfair trade practices, which has to be our end-game. But we are losing this end-game. These tariffs are hurting the San Joaquin Valley and people across the nation, and it is only getting worse. We must stop this trade war before it reaches a point where it will have long-term damaging effects. Ultimately, we must work together for a resolution between the United States, Canada, Mexico, and our European and Pacific Rim allies for how to most effectively deal with China and other countries to ensure fair and balanced trade.”
Congressman Costa has been a leading advocate for ensuring that California agriculture stays competitive in the midst of the Administration’s tariff-based approach to addressing trade imbalances. Rep. Costa immediately warned of the trade war and consequences that would likely result from the tariffs since the Administration signed its initial tariffs on steel and aluminum in March, noting that “California agriculture will likely feel the most intense and direct pain from these tariffs. California farmers and ranchers earned about $21 billion from trade in 2016, which was roughly 44 percent of their total revenue.”
Since then, Costa has pressed the Administration to take a more strategic and long-term approach to trade as well as urged his colleagues to come together and reassert Congress’s constitutional authority and responsibility in U.S. trade agreements. In May he led fellow California House members in a united bipartisan message calling on United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to address unfair or unbalanced trade practices “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.”
Just last week, Rep. Costa again led a bipartisan coalition message to the Administration. The coalition – led by Costa and Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10) – called on U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to work with members of Congress and specialty crop producers to ensure the producers receive mitigation dollars equal to the damage the specialty crop industry is already feeling from the retaliatory tariffs.