For Trump, China is not keeping its word on agricultural products

Donald Trump
For Trump, China is not keeping its word on agricultural products

Donald Trump points out that China has not "bought agricultural products from[their] super farmers as it had promised to do.

The trade confrontation between China and the United States, which is imposing increasingly restrictive tariffs on itself, has still not ended. Three hundred and sixty billion commercial exchanges are involved each year and many companies are affected. On Thursday, Donald Trump accused China, at a time when discussions to end the trade war have just resumed, of not buying American agricultural products as he said he had promised. "China has not kept its word, it has not bought the agricultural products of our super farmers, as it had promised to do," the republican billionaire tweeted. "I hope it will do so soon," he added.

Discussions between Americans and Chinese to end their trade war were relaunched, after a sudden halt in May, at a summit between Donald Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Osaka G20 in late June. Donald Trump said at the end of the summit that he had agreed to freeze the introduction of punitive tariffs on the $300 billion worth of imports of Chinese products that are not yet overtaxed. In exchange, the White House tenant had promised, "China will buy an incredible amount of food and agricultural products, they will start very soon. The president said the United States would provide a list of products that the Americans would like Beijing to buy.

Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019

The agricultural sector, dear to Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in 2020, is the one that has suffered the most from the trade war between China and the United States, despite the payment of significant federal subsidies to compensate for the shortfall.

Negotiations still ongoing

Bill Nelson, an analyst at Doane Advisory Services, believes that Donald Trump is right. "China is not making major purchases and certainly not since the recent meeting with Xi," says the specialist, who understood from the American President's statements that orders and sales would be made immediately afterwards. "If China really wanted to do it, we would have sales announcements every day," he insists.

The Osaka summit has relaunched a deadlocked process since May, when Donald Trump had already considered that the Chinese had reneged on their commitments made during very intense negotiations, alternately in the American capital and in Beijing, since January. Since Osaka, US officials have insisted that the negotiations are back on track.

On Tuesday, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with their Chinese counterparts. The two Trump government ministers spoke by phone with Deputy Prime Minister Liu He and Chinese Trade Minister Zhong Shan "to continue negotiations to resolve trade issues between China and the United States," said Larry Kudlow, Chief Economic Advisor of the White House. He added that both parties felt that these discussions should continue. "Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed the implementation of the consensus reached between the Heads of State of the two countries in Osaka," the Chinese Ministry of Commerce commented in a brief statement.