‘Phase One' of U.S.-China Trade Deal Offers Hope for Pork Producers

Trade Talks ( MGN Online )

The news that the U.S. and China reached a “phase one” agreement Friday to broker a truce in the trade war is providing more hope for the pork industry seeking permanent removal of all punitive tariffs to address China’s need for pork.

Under the pact, the U.S. is suspending a planned tariff increase for Oct. 15, and China agreed to some agricultural concessions. The measure reportedly includes an agreement in principle under Phase 1, which will be written in three to five weeks, says Jim Wiesemeyer of Pro Farmer.

Phase 1 supposedly includes $40 to $50 billion in ag purchases, including 30 million metric tons of soybeans and an unspecified amount of pork. 

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has welcomed recent reports that China is making purchases of U.S. pork and is currently excluding it from the application of retaliatory tariffs, NPPC said in Capital Update on Friday. 

NPPC urges permanent removal of all punitive tariffs to address China's unique pork supply need. 

“With African swine fever dramatically reducing domestic production, the United States is well positioned to meet China's need for safe, nutritious and affordable pork and to manage an emerging food price inflation challenge,” NPPC says. “In doing so, U.S. pork can single handedly put a huge dent in the United States' trade imbalance with China.”

Bloomberg reports that President Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that the deal isn’t in writing yet.

Although the limited agreement may resolve some issues, the biggest disputes remain. U.S. goals in the trade war center around accusations of intellectual-property theft, forced technology transfer and complaints about Chinese industrial subsidies, Bloomberg reports.

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