Friday, September 13, 2019

China says it will exempt American soybeans and pork from latest round of higher tariffs

China's state news agency said today that the Chinese government will exempt American soybeans and pork from its latest round of tariffs.

"China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the government would support purchases of U.S. agricultural products by Chinese companies and waive the tariffs that Beijing has imposed as trade tensions have flared," Chao Deng and Lucy Craymer report for The Wall Street Journal. "The report didn’t specify the amount of products affected by the measure, which was attributed to the country’s Commerce Ministry and its main economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission."

The move comes as U.S. and Chinese negotiators prepare for a new round of trade talks in early October. The U.S. has made overtures as well: "On Wednesday, President Trump delayed a new round of tariff increases on $250 billion of imports from China that would have taken effect Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of Communist Chinese rule—an apparent concession that the state-media report cited in justifying the lifting of tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods."

There might be more than goodwill behind the announcement though: African swine fever has decimated China's hog population, and the government has been struggling recently to meet domestic need, Deng and Craymer report.

The news is "likely to be cheered by U.S. farmers growing soybeans in Illinois, raising cattle in Texas and feeding hogs in North Carolina, all of whom have seen business suffer and prices fall as a result of tariffs that Chinese officials began implementing last year," Deng and Craymer report. 

No comments: