POCATELLO — President Donald Trump today announced a “very substantial phase one deal” with China that includes a pledge by China to buy significantly more U.S. agricultural products.
According to Bloomberg, the president said that China would step up its purchases of U.S. agricultural products over a two-year span to an annual total of $40-50 billion.
Before the two nations’ ongoing trade war, China purchased almost $20 billion worth of U.S. farm products in 2017. That made China the No. 2 market for U.S. farm product exports, behind Canada ($22 billion).
If that $40-50 billion goal is realized, it could mean a massive win for U.S. farmers, who have borne the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products.
Fox News and other media outlets also reported that $40-50 billion total.
During a briefing in the White House, Trump said China would purchase about 2.5 to 3 times more agricultural products from the United States than they have in the past.
“So I would suggest the farmers have to immediately go buy more land and get bigger tractors,” he added.
He called it “a tremendous deal for the farmers.” According to the Wall Street Journal, what is being labeled as a first phase of a trade agreement could be signed in three to five weeks.
According to the WSJ, “The agreement includes China’s agreement to purchase $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural products….”
It’s not the first time in the past year and a half that China has apparently agreed to purchase large additional amounts of U.S. farm products only to see that pledge dissolve after trade negotiations between the two nations broke down.
In February, several national media outlets reported that China was promising to import $30 billion in additional U.S. farm products in an effort to reach a trade deal with the U.S.
In December 2018, the White House announced that China had agreed to start buying substantially more agricultural products from the U.S.
At the time, Trump tweeted, “Farmers will be a very big and fast beneficiary of our deal with China … We make the finest and cleanest product in the world, and that is what China wants. Farmers, I love you!”
In May 2018, the White House issued a joint statement between the two nations that said both sides agreed on significant increases in U.S. agriculture and energy product exports to China