The U.S. and China will resume trade talks next week. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to China to meet with trade officials along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. China is also expected to return to the U.S. for negotiations on May 8th. Next week’s discussions will cover intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement, according to a White House statement. Both sides appear hopeful to reach a draft agreement by the end of May.
The negotiations, which stem from the tit-for-tat trade war last year, bring hope that tariffs will come to an end for U.S. agriculture. However, the ongoing African swine fever outbreak in China, which is forcing a more than 20 percent drop in China’s hog production, will also reduce demand for soybeans and feed products, a top agriculture export product for the United States. If the two sides can reach a favorable agreement, the U.S. could be in a position to provide addition pork exports to China to cover the production loss.