Deere & Company is actively communicating the pro-China trade message, because China's entry into the World Trade Organization is important to American farmers.
Deere is urging members of Congress to support Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China.
Deere sent a letter to 15,000 U.S. farmers, letting them know of the company's support for congressional approval of PNTR status for China. The letter also urged farmers to continue making their opinion known to legislators. Congress is expected to vote on the PNTR issue this week.
"Farmers have been actively supporting approval of PNTR for China. We do not want to see U.S. farmers shut out of China, the world's largest potential market," said Hans W. Becherer, Deere & Company's chairman and chief executive officer. "Failure to approve PNTR will turn this market over to farmers and equipment manufacturers of other nations."
Deere said the PNTR status for China will reduce tariffs on U.S. agricultural commodities and for agricultural and construction equipment manufactured in the U.S., creating significant new export opportunities for U.S. farmers and John Deere.
In the letter, Deere tells farmers of its extensive efforts to show support for PNTR. Becherer has visited members of Congress on the issue. Also of note, Deere said, elected officials have indicated they have been hearing from many John Deere employees, farmers and dealers in support of PNTR approval.
In a message to John Deere employees, Becherer said the best way to influence future policy in China is through engagement and economic participation, not through isolation.
Becherer said China has made deep trade concessions to join the World Trade Organization and these will greatly benefit U.S. farmers, because lower tariffs will create new export sales and help improve crop prices. He added that the United States has been asked for only one action: approval of PNTR for China.
Deere said the upcoming vote provides an opportunity for Congress, which has granted normal trade relations status to China for the last 20 years on an annual basis, to grant permanent status to China as a trading partner. China will gain entry into the World Trade Organization, with or without the U.S., Deere said, so failure of PNTR approval will place the U.S. farmer at a disadvantage, compared to other farmers worldwide.