Trump Expects China to Buy $50 Billion in U.S. Agriculture

Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on school choice in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

President Donald Trump said Friday that he expects China will buy $50 billion of U.S. farm products in the near future.

“I think in agriculture they will hit $50 billion,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Trump added that the total amount of purchases of U.S. products by China would be much more because China had also agreed to increase purchases of manufactured goods.

“It’s a phenomenal deal,” Trump said. “And I say, affectionately, the farmers are going to have to go out and buy much larger tractors, because it means a lot of business, a tremendous amount of business.”

The U.S. agreed to cut in half the tariff currently set at 15 percent on around $120 billion of imports from China. It also canceled the additional tariffs scheduled to take effect Sunday. This leaves in place the 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods. President Trump said his administration would use the tariffs in negotiations in the next phase of trade talks.

Earlier Friday, spokespeople for China made the first official announcement of the trade agreement that had been widely reported to have been reached Thursday afternoon. The Chinese officials, however, defied expectations that they would announce details of the agreement or specific amounts for upcoming purchases of U.S. goods.

In October, when the phase one trade deal was first announced, China also refused to publicly commit to specific purchase amounts. In talks over the last few months, China maintained its insistence that it should not have to publicly set a dollar amount of its purchases of U.S. products.

Details may yet emerge. A spokesman for China said the text of the deal includes nine chapters, covering intellectual property rights, technology transfer, agricultural products, financial services, exchange rates, and dispute resolution.

A press release from the U.S. Trade Representative appeared to follow the same script.

“The United States and China have reached an historic and enforceable agreement on a Phase One trade deal that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange,” the U.S. press release said.

 

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