China’s Commerce Ministry announced today it will soon be sending a trade delegation to the U.S. ahead of an escalation in tariffs, many of which are taking a toll on U.S. agriculture exports.
Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce and deputy international trade representative will lead the delegation “in late August” after receiving an invitation from the U.S. according to report by the Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese government-run entity.
The latest action in the intensifying trade battle between the two countries was made by China on Aug. 3 when it threatened to hit the U.S. with tariffs on an additional $60 billion worth of U.S. products. That was a response to an Aug. 1 threat by the Trump administration to raise the rate from 10 percent to 25 percent on proposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
The first country to employ new tariffs was the U.S. In early June, the Trump administration slapped China with 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and promised that would go up to $50 billion. Those “301 tariffs” were meant to convince China to stop stealing U.S. intellectual property.
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China immediately announced an equivalent retaliation that included a 25 percent tariff on soybeans, corn, wheat and sorghum.
In a retaliation to China’s retaliation, the U.S. next threatened an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. President Donald Trump has said that any further retaliation by China would cause him to increase the tariffs yet again on another $200 billion in Chinese products, bringing the total to $450 billion.
While the Chinese delegation may offer some hope for U.S. farmers that want to see the tariffs retracted, the Trump administration is showing no signs of letting up on its demands of China.
Vice President Mike Pence suggested that the U.S. tariffs were meant to help the U.S. ag sector.
“While some countries are retaliating against our farm economy because they don’t want to change their unfair trade practices, our administration will not back down – and we will stand with American farmers 100 percent!” Pence said in a tweet.