Sat. Aug 1st, 2020

China considers buying American agricultural products

China may allow companies to restore purchases of US agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, in order to show goodwill before the negotiations.

However, Bloomberg quoted a source familiar with the matter as saying the final decision and specific numbers have not been made. China stopped buying American agricultural products since August, after the talks broke down. Beijing has so far maintained pressure on U.S. agricultural exports to target voters in pro-Trump regions amid U.S. economic signs of losing momentum.

This is China’s latest concession before the two countries resume negotiations. This morning, US President Donald Trump announced a postponement of the tax increase date with 250 billion USD of Chinese goods, from October 1, scheduled to October 15. The statement was intended to show goodwill after China’s Ministry of Finance yesterday announced import tax exemption for 16 types of US products.

This concession shows that the two sides want to cool down trade tensions and be willing to negotiate aggressively. The second-level deputy negotiators are expected to meet in Washington in mid-September. Ministerial talks will take place in October. However, the exact time has not been announced.

US-China trade tensions have lasted more than a year, with import tariffs hitting hundreds of billions of dollars on each other’s goods. The two countries began negotiating a trade deal last year, in order to find a way out of the war. This was held alternately in the United States and China, but was repeatedly interrupted by escalating tensions.

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