GOP congresswoman: We need a trade deal with China

  • President Donald Trump's trade agreement with Mexico is a good step forward, says Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.
  • However, the president needs to strike a deal with China to really provide some relief to farmers, she says.

President Donald Trump's trade agreement with Mexico is a good step forward but he needs to strike a deal with China to really provide some relief to farmers, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., told CNBC on Monday.

The new deal between the U.S. and Mexico paves the way to replace NAFTA, the current agreement between the two countries and Canada.

"While the farmers are happy and optimistic, as am I, we still have a couple more places to go here before we can say that we really won this battle and put our farmers on top," Walorski said on "Power Lunch" shortly after the deal was announced.

"The retaliatory actions that China has taken are still going to be an impact," she said. Trade tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China. Last week, both countries implemented another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other's goods.

Meanwhile, there were no major breakthroughs after U.S. and Chinese officials met last Wednesday and Thursday.

The two countries have now targeted $50 billion of each other's goods and threatened duties on most of the rest of their bilateral trade.

Walorski was among the 20 GOP lawmakers who signed onto a recent letter to Trump from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert. That letter urged Trump to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"Let's just strike a deal. A deal that's fair," Walorski told CNBC.

Farmers have been particularly hard hit by China's retaliatory tariffs, which have targeted things like soybeans and pork. In July, Trump said China is "being vicious" by targeting U.S. farmers on purpose.

Walorski, who met with Indiana farmers on Monday, said she is "grateful" to Trump for making progress with Mexico.

However, farmers "need to know that very, very quickly they can kick up this production and they're going to be certain of what the details are of that bill." That said, Walorski insists the agricultural community is still supportive of Trump.

"They believe in the president's plan. They believe in his policy," she said. "They're just fearful of the uncertainty but this is a good step forward."

— CNBC's Fred Imbert and Reuters contributed to this report.