President Trump has given some insight into the China Phase One negotiations that could lead to $40-$50 billion in ag purchases.
During his cabinet meeting on Monday, Trump said farmers and farm groups that he spoke to said $20 million from China in ag purchases annually would be a good deal.
“So, my people had $20 billion done. And I said, ‘I want more.’ They said, ‘The farmers can’t handle it.’ I said, ‘Tell them to buy larger tractors. It’s very simple.’ They’ll buy more land and they’ll buy larger tractors. But I want more.”
He continued, “And I said, ‘We want $60 billion to $70 billion.’ And we agreed to $40 [billion] to $50 billion. So, they wanted $20 billion, and I got $40 to $50 billion. And they’ve already started buying…So, I want to thank China for that.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reported to the president that progress is being made and the hope is to have it finalized and on paper when he visits Chile next month.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng agreed that progress is being made, saying, “As long as we respect each other and seek equal cooperation, there are no disagreements that cannot be resolved between China and the United States.”
President Trump went on to praise farmers during his cabinet meeting.
“Our farmers have been great. They never wavered. They said, ‘The President is doing the right thing. We’re sticking with the President.’
“I tell you, I didn’t see anybody — they looked — some of the networks, they looked. They looked all over for somebody that can speak negatively about the President. And those farmers…they stopped. They said, ‘Nope, he’s doing the right thing. It may be hurting us, but he’s doing the right thing.’ And I think, in many ways, the farmer maybe is going to be the biggest beneficiary of what we’re doing — certainly one of them. I think our country is going to be the biggest beneficiary.”