China is technically open to U.S. rice now – the Chinese ban was lifted Friday - but trade can’t begin flowing yet thanks to bureaucratic steps that remain unfinished, according to U.S. industry officials.
Now that the Trump administration has officially informed Congress that it intends to begin negotiations with Japan on a free trade agreement, anticipation is growing for a new deal that’s expected to significantly boost U.S. exports of beef, dairy, pork, rice and other commodities.
The USDA appears to be on track to unveil on Friday details of a $12 billion assistance plan for farmers hurt by the international blowback from President Donald Trump’s trade battles with China, Mexico, the European Union, Turkey and elsewhere.
It was more than two months ago, in early May, when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sat down on a Tuesday morning with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in his second-floor office suite at USDA headquarters to discuss how they could push the Europeans into lowering trade barriers on U.S. farm commodities.
U.S. negotiators are pushing for China to increase its imports of U.S. agriculture commodities by about $25 billion, which would more than double the roughly $20 billion the country now buys annually, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday.