Crapo: Trade is essential for economic growth and relations with China | Chroniclers


US Senator Mike Crapo



China’s growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific region poses a threat to international and regional security. Trade is essential not only for economic growth and strength, but also in the context of effective relations with China. The administration cannot sit idly by as China advances its own trade priorities in the region; the United States must lead the way in concluding ambitious new trade agreements with our allies.

As a leading member of the Senate Finance Committee, having jurisdiction over the implementation of reciprocal foreign trade agreements, I had the opportunity in November to meet directly with the leaders of the main allies of the Indo-nations. peaceful about joint efforts to tackle China’s manufacturing imbalances and threats to free and fair trade. Our Congress delegation trip to the region allowed us to hear first-hand the issues facing our partners in the region.

Engaging in stronger and more coherent discussions on important and strong trade agreements with these partners remains a goal of my work in the Senate Finance Committee. Finally, we must continue to support Taiwan to ensure that it remains economically and defensible, secure, confident and immune from China’s growing efforts to militarily overwhelm the island.

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As part of my official duties as a senior member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, I have also participated in conversations about sanctions against Russia and Iran as well as further efforts. aimed at combating threats to national security from foreign investment, illicit financing and other economic problems. Combating illicit financing and addressing other economic problems in the region are essential to strengthen deterrence against other international aggressors like Russia and Iran. Additionally, recent supply chain shortages have highlighted the critical importance of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry for the basic functioning of the tools we need here in America for everyday life.

We met with officials in the Philippines, Taiwan and India to strengthen ties with these vital allies. According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, Taiwan is Idaho’s second-largest trading partner, accounting for the purchase of more than $ 413 million worth of Idaho products in 2020., Food and agriculture and personal care products, ”the agency reports. The Philippines was the market for $ 53 million of Idaho’s products in 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. Additionally, aside from a 17% drop in global trade in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States remains one of India’s major trading partners.

The talks followed the overwhelming passage by the Senate of the Commerce Act of 2021, which was included as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act in May. I worked with Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to negotiate this strong trade package to push back China in the most critical areas we face: trade, our economy, and working against efforts. from China to undermine American businesses. This legislation combats unfair trade practices by China, including censorship, and strengthens our relationship with our allies, including by re-authorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program – for the longest extension in the history of the program – and supporting the negotiation of digital trade agreements. The Trade Act of 2021 would strengthen America’s competitive position and help hard-working Idaho growers compete globally, and I continue to push for its passage.

Senator Mike Crapo represents Idaho in the United States Senate. This guest column was released on


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