China, U.S. still at Odds Over Ag Purchases

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. and China still can’t agree on the size of future Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities. President Trump wants China to commit to buying $40 to $50 billion worth of American farm goods per year, which is significantly higher than the $8.6 billion the country bought a year ago. The administration is also asking China to announce its purchase plans, which the White House says shouldn’t depend on market conditions or other Chinese trade obligations.  The two countries are working to get a Phase One trade deal signed ahead of a potential 15% tariff increase on Chinese imports that is scheduled to begin on December 15.

 

Trump said last week that something could very well happen with those tariffs but did say the two countries aren’t discussing that yet. The Chinese Commerce Department’s Ministry spokesman also said last week that the two sides remain in “close communication” on trade. He says that China believes relevant tariffs must be lowered if both sides can reach an agreement on the phase one deal.

 

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