U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke with China’s top trade official Wednesday night in an “introductory virtual meeting” as the Chinese continue to make big purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities and the U.S. farm sector counts on strong trade to continue.
The USDA announced Tuesday that Chinese importers contracted to buy hefty new amounts of U.S. corn and soybeans just hours after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met Monday night to review progress of the “phase one” trade pact.
China will be huge for U.S. beef. That’s the conclusion of U.S. negotiators and the U.S. cattle industry, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get there and the Chinese will have to come through on major promises over the next two months that were made in the “phase one” deal that was signed last week in the White House.
China has committed to buy at least $80 billion in U.S. farm products over the next two years and the country also agreed to sweeping structural changes that promise to improve trade on a more permanent basis for U.S. beef, pork, rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and other commodities.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to sign a landmark, partial trade deal in Washington this week that could be crucial to reviving a farm economy that has been dependent on an infusion of government payments to offset the damage from the U.S.-China trade war.
China has agreed to make significant policy changes to tear down non-tariff barriers to U.S. farm commodities under the trade deal expected to be signed early next year, according to industry sources who were briefed on the pact and government officials with knowledge of the briefing.
China has agreed to purchase $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural commodities annually for two years as well as remove significant ag trade barriers, a senior Trump administration official told reporters Friday.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators have agreed to eliminate some tariffs “in phases” as talks continue to finalize a partial Phase One trade deal, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday at a press conference in Beijing.