The U.S. and China are making progress toward implementing the phase one trade deal struck earlier this year with Beijing now accepting shipments from more U.S. plants than ever before. Recent harsh rhetoric from Washington over the pandemic outbreak had many fearing a renewal of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Yet indications are that despite the accusations and threats from President Trump, Beijing is still moving forward with steps to increase U.S. farm imports.
The announcement from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer indicates that Beijing has forged ahead with updating its list of U.S. facilities eligible to ship their goods to China. The list now includes 499 beef, 457 pork, 470 poultry, 397 seafood, 253 dairy and nine infant-formula facilities. Agriculture products from blueberries to avocados and barley are now eligible for export to China, the Department of Agriculture and the Trade Representative’s Office said Thursday.
“China has worked with the United States to implement measures that will provide greater access for U.S. producers and exporters to China’s growing food and agricultural markets,” Lighthizer said in a statement.
The U.S. and China signed a historic trade accord in January that called for Beijing to purchase an additional $200 billion worth of American products over the next two years, in addition to commitments to halt intellectual property theft, refrain from currency manipulation and cooperate in financial services.
The purchases will include up to $50 billion of U.S. agriculture and an additional $40 billion in services, $50 billion in energy and up to $80 billion worth of manufacturing.
In return, the U.S. reduced tariffs imposed by President Trump on some goods, but kept duties on $375 billion worth of merchandise.