(NAFB) — Reports surfaced on Monday that the Chinese Vice Premier will lead a delegation to Washington, D.C., to sign the Phase One trade deal. A source close to the situation tells the South China Morning Post that Liu (Lou) He will fly to Washington on Saturday to sign the agreement. The source said the U.S. extended the invitation and Liu has accepted. Farm Futures reports that Beijing and Washington haven’t confirmed the trip yet. China is already buying larger amounts of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, which was a big part of the agreement for U.S President Donald Trump. The possibility of making the deal official this weekend will mean increased purchases by China, as well as a partial end to the trade war that’s dominated headlines for the past 18 months. China’s soybean imports from the U.S. recently hit a 20-month high at 2.6 million tons, the highest number since March of 2018, when the trade war between the world’s largest economies began to pick up steam. Reports of higher food prices in China will likely mean a need for increased imports of U.S. agricultural goods in the months ahead to bring down those prices.
White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday afternoon that the Phase One trade deal with China is wrapped up. “That’s a done deal,” Navarro says. “You can put that one in the bag.” The one thing he didn’t do was confirm a report by the South China Morning Post that China’s Vice Premier will be in Washington to sign the deal this weekend. Navarro giving his affirmation to the deal with China shows that President Trump doesn’t face pressure from conservatives to negotiate more favorable terms for the U.S. Navarro’s hostility toward China and its global trade and economic practices is well known in Washington, as he published a book during his career titled “Death by China.” Under the agreement announced on December 13, the U.S. put off implementing new tariffs on Chinese imports while reducing some existing duties. China agreed to bigger purchases of American agricultural products and made new commitments on intellectual property projections and forced technology transfers. As of now, the exact terms of the agreement haven’t been announced.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters