President Donald Trump said on Thursday morning that the U.S. and China are very close to a “big deal” on trade.
“They want it, and so do we,” Trump tweeted.
Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2019
New tariffs are scheduled to kick-in on Chinese imports not yet hit by the trade dispute on December 15. Chinese officials have been telling U.S. media outlets that it is likely that the tariffs would be delayed or canceled. The Trump administration has sent mixed signals, with unnamed officials saying tariffs were likely to be delayed and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow saying tariffs were still on the table and no decision had been made yet.
While some of Trump’s White House advisers have pushed or a delay in tariffs while trade negotiations are ongoing, others both in the administration and outside have said the president risks U.S. credibility if he puts the tariffs on hold without China at least announcing a big purchase of agricultural goods.
China this week reported that the price of pork had doubled and prices for other sources of animal protein have been pushed up. This is primarily due to a swine fever epidemic that cost China around 40 percent of its hog population. Retaliatory tariffs China imposed on U.S. agriculture have made the problem worse by raising the cost of imports.