Grassley cites China soybean buy as ‘good news,’ business community ‘alarmed’
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Tuesday that the Agriculture Department’s announcement that China has placed orders for 588,000 metric tons of soybean “is good news” while the U.S.-China Business Council expressed “alarm” over the low levels of exports to China.
In a call to reporters, Grassley said he is watching the China purchases and also the impact of overnight storms in the Midwest.
Grassley acknowledged that China would have to increase its pace of purchases to meet its obligations under the phase one trade agreement, but said he still believes China will meet its agricultural obligations over a two-year period.
The 588,000 tons are worth $188 million at current prices, the Food and Environment Reporting Network said in an analysis.
Meanwhile, Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, told reporters during a briefing, “When one looks at the export figures associated with the phase one deal, one cannot help but be somewhat alarmed,” Politico reported.
The council released its annual membership survey, which said, “Despite high tensions, all indicators suggest that companies remain largely committed to the China market over the long term.” Only 7% of the more than 100 companies replying to the survey were agricultural, the council said.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are scheduled to talk on Saturday to analyze the implementation of the phase one deal.
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