China signing set, but prospects for exports decline
President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are scheduled to sign the “phase one” trade agreement between China and the United States on Wednesday, but Reuters said prospects for China to purchase large amounts of U.S. farm products are dwindling.
China announced on Thursday that Liu, who has led Beijing’s delegation in the trade talks with the United States, would sign the Phase 1 deal in Washington next week.
But Reuters said, “Chinese forward purchases of Brazilian soybeans, including about a dozen bulk vessels this week, or about 800,000 tonnes, are raising doubts Chinese buyers will have an appetite for vast supplies of U.S. soybeans once the deal is done.”
Meanwhile, Trump said that the “phase one” deal is “pretty much all for the farmers,” the Food & Environment Reporting Network said.
“Phase one is a phenomenal deal. It could be up to $50 billion in farm product,” said the president at the White House. “That’s numerous times more than they were buying in the past.”
“Before the trade war, China was the largest customer for U.S. ag exports, with purchases averaging $21 billion a year but USDA has forecast sales of $11 billion to China this year,” FERN noted.
Negotiations for a “phase two” agreement will start right away, said Trump, adding that “I might want to wait to finish it until after the [November] election because by doing that, I think we can make a little bit better deal, maybe a lot better,” according to the FERN report.
“Phase one is … a big percentage of the deal. Some would say half,” said Trump when asked about his plans for the next stage of negotiations. “It’s pretty much all for the farmers, also bankers. We also have regulations for a lot of things that people are going to be surprised to see.”
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