Make our farmers solvent again! Or something.
In what counts as a “win” these days for America’s long-suffering agricultural community, China has added some farm products to the tariff exemption list ahead of planned talks between Bob Lighthizer, Steve Mnuchin and Vice Premier Liu He in October.
China will buy “a certain amount” of US soy, pork and other products, Xinhua said Friday, citing the Commerce ministry. Those purchases will be exempt from additional tariffs. The news comes amid rumors that the Trump administration may be prepared to offer Beijing an interim trade agreement that would see some tariffs delays and others eased.
On Thursday, the White House initially said the administration was “absolutely not” considering a limited deal when asked by CNBC to confirm Bloomberg’s reporting. Later, Trump told reporters he would, in fact, consider an interim agreement, while expressing his preference for a comprehensive deal.
Earlier this week, China announced tariff exemptions for some products. Initially, that list did not include key farm goods.
Rumors that China was prepared to step up with “modest” purchases of US farm goods have been in the news for a week, and Trump continues to insist that Beijing will eventually make good on those pledges, despite his own irritation with the delay. “It is expected that China will be buying large amounts of our agricultural products!”, Trump shouted on Thursday morning.
Pressed to say, definitively, if the president was telling the truth, Peter Navarro came up largely empty during a CNN interview.
“President Trump tweeted that there will be orders”, Navarro confirmed.
Thanks, Peter. Thanks.