On the heels of the new NAFTA agreement, Rep. John Curtis gathered approximately 100 Utahns and local business leaders to outline his vision for a responsible trade policy and his views on tariffs.

During his twenty-minute address at the Utah Valley University, Curtis acknowledged that there are more responsible ways to fight China’s predatory trade policies and the enormous $376 billion trade deficit.

“China has been waging a one-sided trade war on the United States,” said Curtis. “I believe that there are tools other than tariffs to get China to stop stealing our intellectual property, dumping excess commodities into the market, and manipulating their currency.”

His full remarks were streamed live on Facebook and can be found here.

Congressman Curtis outlined seven tariff alternatives that we can use to change China’s bad behavior on trade which including the following:

  • The United States can discontinue scientific and technical cooperation with China.
  • The United States can appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to pursue a case against China for their trade violations.
  • The US can take steps to curb counterfeited and pirated Chinese goods. Currently, China accounts for 87% of counterfeit goods seized each year.
  • The US can continue to call out China’s bad behavior on currency manipulation and cheating by refusing to recognize China as a market-based economy for WTO purposes.
  • The US can deny Chinese companies from gaining access to be listed on US stock exchanges.
  • The Treasury Department should sanction Chinese companies that have benefitted from stolen intellectual property or coerced technology transfers.
  • Most importantly, the US needs to strengthen our trade relationships with like-minded trading partners—especially in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Congressman Curtis highlighted several positive developments, including the long-overdue renegotiation of NAFTA. A former small business owner himself, Curtis has long asked for the trade agreement to reflect modern economies that were not even imagined when it was first negotiated.

Now as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Small Business Committee, Utah’s congressman to the third district will have an important voice as the Administration renegotiates trade agreements with Korea, Europe, and Japan.

Utah’s economy is one the strongest in the country and that is partly due to the state’s diverse trade and international partnerships. When it was announced that NAFTA would be renegotiated, and tariffs were considered earlier this year, Congressman Curtis has heard from numbers local businesses and industries that have been severely impacted by these policies. He is a strong supporter of free trade and open markets. More can be read here about his official statements and positions on trade.

His International Trade Conference helped Utahns learn how trade and tariffs impact their business in Utah and what they can do about it. Representatives from the Utah Farm Bureau, Zonos, Intermountain Electronics, distribution specialists, international trade attorneys, World Trade Center Utah, and others delivered straight-talking insights and lessons learned from local e-commerce businesses who have taken their business global.

The event was part of “Getting to Global.” Getting to Global (GtG) brings an interactive conference that helps companies develop a strategy for taking their online business global. Learn from the leaders in the space about what is and isn’t working for them and leave with actionable takeaways.

Attendees, which ranged from global makeup distributors to small business owners, all left the conference with new insights and perspectives on international trade and the tools to grow their businesses in the years to come.