High-level U.S. and Chinese agricultural trade officials are prominent in the bilateral trade talks this week as Gregg Doud, the top ag negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, and Han Jun, China’s vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, met together with others at USTR's Washington headquarters Thursday.

If all goes well with the talks this week, USTR Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to sit down with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and others in early October. A specific date has not yet been set, one U.S. government official said.

Talks this week to try to end the trade war and set up higher-level meetings next month will continue through Friday, but Agri-Pulse has learned that Han will remain in the U.S. after the dialogue. The vice minister is scheduled to visit farming operations in Montana and Nebraska next week, according to government and industry sources.

The Chinese vice minister is expected to visit pork producing and processing operations during his visits.

China now imposes punitive tariffs of 60% on U.S. pork as a result of the ongoing trade war, but Chinese importers continue to make purchases as the country wrestles with massive damages from African swine fever. Consumer pork prices in China have risen by about 50% and producers are forced to destroy herds infected with the virus that has a 90% mortality rate for the animals.

Sara Wyant contributed to this story.

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