U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson visited a congressional district in Kentucky Monday and Tuesday and met with members of the agricultural community.

On Monday, hosted by Rep. Andy Barr, Thompson toured the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture and along with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, held roundtables with Kentucky cattleman and the Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Barr and Thompson, the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, also met with bourbon distillers and participated at an event on Tuesday at Keeneland, where they discussed ongoing legislative efforts impacting Kentucky’s famous equine industry.

“As Republican leader of the House Agriculture Committee, I have the pleasure of traveling around the country to hear directly from our farmers, ranchers, foresters and cattlemen,” Thompson said. “My job is made easier by surrounding myself with great agriculture advocates like Congressman Barr. I’m grateful for his commitment to rural America and for the invitation to join him in Kentucky this week.”

Quarles said meeting with Thompson was opportunity to explain some of Kentucky’s agriculture issues, including supply chain and processing problems.

China and trade policy

Thompson responded favorably to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai’s remarks Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she detailed the Biden administration’s approach to the U.S.-China trade relationship.

Tai stated that China is not fully complying with the Phase One Agreement reached between the U.S. and China in early 2020 and has failed to make “meaningful reforms” to address the concerns shared by the U.S. and other countries regarding China’s economy.

“In recent years, Beijing has doubled down on its state-centered economic system,” she said, noting that China’s lack of adherence to global trading norms has undercut the prosperity of Americans and others around the world.

Tai said current Section 301 tariffs will remain in place, and further enforcement actions are under consideration. However, she stated that the administration would launch a new exclusion process to allow exceptions for certain products that would otherwise be subject to Section 301 duties.

Thompson said he respects Tai, including her role in the development and passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and he hopes she will “invigorate the Biden administration’s stagnant U.S. trade agenda, one that has settled on a never-ending stock-taking exercise rather than rolling up its sleeves and focusing on the real work of leveling the playing field.”

Thompson said Phase I of the U.S.-China trade agreement, negotiated by the Trump administration, yielded robust recovery in the U.S. agricultural economy, and he expect the Biden administration to press China to stand by its commitments.

“The focus should be ensuring accountability for any unfulfilled promises while pushing to address additional barriers China maintains against our ag exports in a second phase,” Thompson said. “China must play by the rules which includes upholding its compliance with the terms of its WTO membership.”