China buys soybeans as trade talks continue
April 2, 2019
China has bought 828,000 metric tons of soybeans, the Agriculture Department said Monday, as trade talks are expected to continue in Washington.
The purchases were made before Chinese Vice Premier Liu arrived in Washington today to continue the talks that were held in Beijing last week.
The White House said that progress was made in the talks, but Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said last week that the talks could last for months.
The latest buy brings China's purchases of U.S. soybeans to 10 million metric tons since Nov. 29, Politico reported. But that is still less than half China's purchases at this point in past marketing years.
The American Soybean Association noted last week that it has gone on record in prior statements that it is has not been enough for China to make one-off "good will" purchases of U.S. soy over the last three months.
ASA also said last week it is not pleased with President Donald Trump's comments that he could leave tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum in place under an agreement with China.
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Davie Stephens, president of ASA and a soybean grower from Clinton, Ky., said, "The president's statement that the tariffs should remain in place to ensure China's compliance with the terms of a deal, rather than being rescinded as a part of that deal, is confounding"
"If reciprocal tariffs have generated current pressure to reach an agreement, why wouldn't removing the tariffs and relieving that pressure be a necessary part of any initial deal? How can the U.S. and China reach any deal without doing so?"
Stephens continued, "We do understand the president's concern regarding enforcement of other provisions of a deal, given China's past record of walking back its commitments. And we would understand why the president would want to include a 'snap back' mechanism to re-impose tariffs in the event other parts of any agreement were not honored, but we are tired of being collateral damage in this ongoing trade war and suffering because of these tariffs."