President Donald Trump and White House officials insist that China will be buying $40 billion to 50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products annually over the next couple of years, if the countries nail down a trade deal in the coming weeks, but the question is whether U.S. farmers, processors and exporters could meet that challenge.
As much as growers long for an end to the trade war with China, there are long-term threats to demand for corn, soybeans and other crops that could depress commodity prices for years to come and lead to calls for higher government spending, economists say.
American agriculture is facing numerous challenges and unfortunately, an overwhelming share is being shouldered by U.S. pork producers like myself. However, the news earlier this week of a signed trade deal with Japan is significant and hopefully a catalyst for similar agreements in other countries.
Japan agreed Wednesday to cut or eliminate tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of U.S. ag commodities and erect new quotas under a trade deal that U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed Wednesday.
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.
China’s latest promise to reduce tariffs on U.S. soybeans and pork is being lauded as an olive branch ahead of new trade talks early next month, but China also needs more of the commodities to feed its people, according to industry and government analysts.
New rulemaking from the Department of Agriculture will allow swine slaughter facilities to opt in to a new inspection system that focuses on new requirements for microbial testing and pathogen control.
China is planning to lift tariffs on U.S. pork and soybeans ahead of high-level talks between the two countries, but it remains unclear how steep the tariff cuts will be, according to U.S. ag groups and Chinese government-run media outlets.