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."
Thanks to a buying spree, China is far and away the top customer for U.S. corn six weeks into the marketing year, said chief executive Ryan LeGrand of the U.S. Grains Council on Thursday. Its purchases of 10.4 million tonnes for delivery during 2020/21 are twice as large as sales to date to Mexico, usually the No. 1 importer.
Exporters sold nearly 2.7 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans in the first half of this month for delivery to China, said the USDA on Thursday. A "significant" sale was reported on each of the 10 business days beginning on Sept. 3, said the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Recent increases in market prices are making soybeans more attractive, and farmers will respond by expanding soybean acreage by nearly 5 percent in 2021 while holding steady on corn acreage, said Farm Futures on Wednesday.
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."
China can satisfy two objectives — filling a huge gap in its meat supply and complying with the "phase one" trade agreement with the United States — by buying American-grown pork, say two Iowa State University economists.
The “phase one” trade agreement with China assures sales of “up to $50 billion in agriculture alone,” said President Trump at a White House signing ceremony on Wednesday, although Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said sales would depend on domestic demand and U.S. prices. A senior administration official said later that the pact did not require China to remove retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm goods — a potential barrier to exports.
Three weeks after he slammed Brazil and Argentina for actions "not good for our farmers," President Trump reversed his decision to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the South American nations, said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on social media over the weekend. "The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!" tweeted Trump on the same day.
Although President Trump declared "a very large Phase One Deal with China," the White House put few agricultural details in writing over the weekend, saying the agreement calls for "substantial purchases" of farm exports, rather the quadrupling trumpeted by U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer. Analysts such as Joe Glauber of IFPRI were dubious that U.S. exports, forecast at $11 billion this year, could leap overnight to the $40-billion-a-year level cited by the administration.