Farmers and manufacturers in Oklahoma are having some difficulties as a result of President Donald Trump’s China tariffs, but still, most want a trade deal to be reached, Sen. James Lankford said Wednesday.
“They do see the fact we’ve had decades of disputes with China,” the Oklahoma Republican told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “China has been unfair in straight practices. They’re not necessarily looking to win but to open markets and have a fair exchange.”
Currently, Section 301 tariffs are hurting some Oklahoma companies by making manufacturing in China more difficult.
“We’ve got a company that produces LED lighting products,” said Lankford. “They do the design, the engineering, the sales, intellectual property patents, all those things are in Oklahoma. They do manufacturing in China…they’ve paid millions in tariffs the last year and are scheduled to pay millions more. It’s not a Chinese company paying that; it’s an American company. It’ll cause a rise in prices for the consumers.”
But the tariffs do bring people to the table to talk, said Lankford, and he hopes they will also bring urgency.
Farmers in Oklahoma are facing issues based “on the week and what the Chinese are doing,” as they stop shipments based on negotiations and “farmers can’t just switch crops on a dime.”
Lankford said he also thinks it’s important to push China on human rights issues, including the incarceration of an estimated two million Muslims.
“When we engage with other countries, it is a unique moment to talk about religious freedom, free press, freedom of speech, freedom of movement,” said Lankford.
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