Published: Fri, September 13, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Chinese buyers asking about United States soy, pork before trade talks

Chinese buyers asking about United States soy, pork before trade talks

The long-running trade war between China and the United States has seen them swap tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Chinese importers bought at least 10 boatloads of US soybeans on Thursday, their most significant purchases since at least June, traders said, ahead of high-level talks next month aimed at ending a bilateral trade war that has lasted more than a year.

The U.S. -China talks have basically gone nowhere for four months. The International Monetary Fund on Thursday forecast that USA and Chinese tit-for-tat tariffs could reduce global GDP in 2020 by 0.8% and trigger more losses afterward.

The escalating trade war between the two countries has led to duties on billions of dollars in goods. China's retaliatory tariffs on American-made goods has resulted in 13 straight months of decline in exports compared to the same period previous year. Moody's Analytics estimates that Trump's tariff policy has already cost the US economy 300,000 jobs and could rise to 450,000 jobs later this year once the full effect of the additional tariffs kick in.

President Trump announced Wednesday that he would delay the implementation of tariffs hikes to 30 percent from 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods in what he referred to as a "gesture of goodwill".

The United States on Thursday welcomed a promise from China to buy agricultural goods while maintaining the threat of U.S. tariff hikes, as the world's two largest economies sought to lay the groundwork for upcoming in-person talks.

China renewed purchases of USA farm goods, which the United States welcomed, and Trump delayed a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods by two weeks in honour, he said, of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump's announcement came after China said earlier Wednesday it is exempting a handful of USA products from the next round of its sanctions set to begin September 17.

"Chinese companies have started making enquiries on the procurement of USA agricultural products", Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular briefing Thursday. Some have been hit with increases a few times, while about $50 billion of US goods is unaffected, possibly to avoid disrupting Chinese industries.

China importers bought at least 10 cargoes, or 600,000 tonnes, of U.S. soybeans for October-December shipment, the country's most significant purchases since at least June, U.S. traders with direct knowledge of the deals said. That was in response to higher Chinese tariffs which were a reaction to a previous increase by the U.S.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland estimates that the US trade war with China has cost Americans over $30 billion in additional import tariffs from the start of the trade war to July.

"I hope that the two sides will continue to take practical actions to create favourable conditions for consultations, which will benefit both China and the United States".

Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese imports.

It comes as the two sides prepare to hold fresh talks aimed at resolving their long-running trade dispute.

The apparent cooling of the trade war couldn't come too soon for the U.S., which has seen markets slump dramatically since the two countries started trading tariff hikes in earnest again last month.

Like this: