President Joe Biden will sit down for a virtual meeting Monday evening with Chinese President Xi Jinping, says White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
It’s unclear if the two leaders will discuss the U.S.-China trading relationship, but farm groups are eager to know more about the Biden administration’s strategy when it comes to exports and imports.
“Following their Sept. 9 phone call, the two leaders will discuss ways to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and (China), as well as ways to work together where our interests align,” Psaki said.
The U.S. ag sector clearly believes the two nations’ “interests align” when it comes to agricultural trade.
“We saw big (Chinese) purchases under the ‘phase one’ agreement,” says Ken Barbic, head of policy and global relations for the Farmers Business Network. “Farmers are eager to see more opportunities for purchases in the months ahead."
Psaki warned reporters Friday that there likely be no major resolutions as a result of the call, but also stressed that Biden and Xi will be addressing “areas where we can work together.”
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The “phase one” deal, which was negotiated by the Trump administration during the height of the trade war, included a promise by China to buy about $80 billion worth of U.S. farm commodities over a two-year period that ends Dec. 31.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in October said she opened a new dialogue with her counterpart, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, but trade officials stressed to reporters that the Biden administration was not prepared to begin negotiating a second phase of the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Agreement.
But that’s not enough, former U.S. Ambassador to China Ambassador Terry Branstad told Agri-Pulse.
“I don’t like the idea of a dialogue because the Chinese will talk and talk and talk and nothing will happen,” said Branstad, who met recently with Tai. “I think we need to see ‘phase one’ extended. It’s been great. We had record sales of corn, soybeans and pork to China.”