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Navajo President: China Trade Deal Would Benefit Tribes

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

The Navajo president said the trade agreement that the Trump administration and China signed Wednesday would open doors for tribes.

China has agreed to buy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of farm products and other goods from the United States. In return, the U.S. will ease some sanctions on China.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said the tribe has more than 8,200 acres of crops designated for export to Asian markets.

When the Navajo Generating Station shut down in November, it left the tribe searching for new ways to boost its economy.

Nez called the tribe a "sleeping giant" when it comes to economic potential because it has the resources, the land, and the workforce.

The China deal also addresses intellectual property. Navajo Vice President Myron Lizer went to the signing in Washington and said he's optimistic it will deter the sale of counterfeit items marketed as authentic Navajo jewelry.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.