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U.S. Optimistic on China Trade Talks


China’s Foreign Ministry says the nation has “good faith” to resolve trade issues with the United States. Talks began this week in Beijing as the two nations look to end a trade war. On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said talks were being held with appropriate-level staff and would help determine how the administration moves forward. Ross also said he saw “a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with,” according to Reuters.

The U.S. delegation in Beijing, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, includes officials from the Department of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, and senior White House officials. An end to the trade war, desired by U.S. agriculture, could further reopen China to U.S. commodities, including soybeans. China’s tariffs on soybeans stalled purchases until a recent agreement that restarted some buys of U.S. soybeans by China.

The American Soybean Association points out that U.S. soybean growers have faced a nearly 20 percent drop in soy prices since the threat of tariffs began last summer. ASA president Davie Stephens of Kentucky says, “We cannot withstand another six months,” noting farmers “need stability returned to the market.” The value of U.S. soybean exports to China has grown 26-fold in ten years, from $414 million in 1996 to $14 billion in 2017. China imported 31 percent of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60 percent of total U.S. exports and nearly one in every three rows of harvested beans.

Source: NAFB News Service