Although China purchased a record amount of U.S. farm exports over the past two years, it wasn't enough to comply with the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday. "We obviously have some unfinished business with reference to phase one," Vilsack told lawmakers a day after President Biden pointed to Chinese shortfalls.
Speaking to a farm conference, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said China's adherence to its commitment to buy mammoth quantities of U.S. farm exports will be a test of the Asian nation's place in global relations. While China has buoyed commodity prices with its purchases, it is not on track to meet the goal of importing $43.6 billion worth of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products by the end of December.
Private exporters reported the sale of 1.15 million tonnes of U.S. corn for delivery to China by the end of August, said the USDA on Tuesday. The corn, equivalent to 45.3 million bushels, was worth $251 million based on futures prices in Chicago.
The world's most populous country is already its largest meat-importing nation and "looks like it's poised to play a major role in meat markets in the future," said USDA senior economist Fred Gale on Thursday. China's imports of beef, pork, and poultry are projected by the USDA to grow 29 percent in the coming decade.
China bought a mammoth 5.85 tonnes of American-grown corn last week, including 2.108 million tonnes on the same day that the White House said the "phase one agreement" that de-escalated the trade war was under review. "The national security team, the newly confirmed secretary of state, President Biden are all reviewing all aspects of our national security approach, including certainly our relationship with China," said press secretary Jen Psaki.
China failed to meet its "phase one" target for imports of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products despite a surge in purchases that began late last summer, said the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Thursday.
While China may not meet the first-year target under the "phase one" trade agreement, it is buying huge amounts of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products that could total $31 billion over 12 months, said Iowa State economist Wendong Zhang at a farm conference on Thursday. Neither Zhang nor Ohio State professor Ian Sheldon said they expected the Biden administration to roll back U.S. tariffs on China in the near term.
The "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war is not paying off in massive sales of U.S. products, including food and agricultural exports, to China or in the long-term reform of Chinese trade practices, said Chad Brown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "(President) Trump's trade war has failed to address what really ails the U.S.-China trade relationship," wrote Brown in a blog. "It is time for a new approach."
In a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Vice President Mike Pence pointed on Thursday to China's promises to roughly double its purchases of U.S. farm exports as evidence that there is "no greater fighter on trade than President Donald Trump." The pledge was part of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war and is scheduled for a six-month review by the two nations this weekend.
China bought $188 million worth of U.S. soybeans on Monday, continuing a string of purchases that began last week, as the world's two largest economies approach a six-month review of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the trade war.
President Trump is "going after China the wrong way" in a go-it-alone trade war that has damaged U.S. agriculture and manufacturing, said Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, in an interview to be aired on Thursday.
China is far short of meeting its "phase one" commitment to buy huge amounts of U.S. food and ag exports, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "We expect a big shipping season this fall." On Thursday, Chinese companies made one of the largest corn purchases in half a century of USDA records.
China is closer than commonly realized to fulfilling its commitment to buy vast amounts of U.S. food and ag products this year, said U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, rebutting criticism that the "phase one" trade agreement is faltering. "If you had to bet right now, you'd say they're going to do it."
The “phase one” trade agreement with China, one of President Trump’s top trade achievements, calls for Beijing to buy huge quantities of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood exports. Sales of soybeans, cotton, pork, corn, sorghum and wheat are stronger than a year ago but an Iowa think tank …