Tag Archives: China

The world’s biggest pork consumer bought just over 10,000 tons of U.S. pork sometime between August 2-8. Reuters says that was the biggest purchase of American pork in almost two months.

The pork purchase is due for shipment this year as African Swine Fever continues to ravage the world’s biggest pork herd. The Chinese Commerce Ministry had said on August 5 that Chinese companies stopped buying U.S. farm commodities after yet another escalation in the trade war with America. Reuters says it’s not clear if the pork was bought before or after the August announcement. Analysts say the sales are seen as a sign that China needs meat from the United States to help offset the death loss of millions of pigs.

Steve Meyer is an economist with the commodity firm Kerns and Associates, who says, “It’s a new booking, which is positive.” China’s duty on American pork sits at a whopping 62 percent. President Trump backed off last week on part of his plan for 10 percent tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports starting on September 1. Late last week, China says it would counter the latest U.S. tariffs.

Tariffs are now costing the U.S. up to $6 billion a month, according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. The trade group says American businesses and consumers paid $6 billion in tariffs in June 2019, one of the highest tariffed months in U.S. history.

The June figure is up 2.5 billion, or 74 percent, from the same month last year. The data, compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau, is the first look at the impact of the escalation of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent in May. The data comes days after President Trump announced yet another round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion in goods, which are set to take effect September 1. China responded to by stopping purchases of U.S. ag products.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Jonathan Gold says the tariffs are “costing American jobs, raising prices, hurting farmers and derailing U.S. economic growth.” In total, American taxpayers have paid over $27 billion in extra import tariffs since the trade war began.

U.S. and Chinese envoys held “constructive” trade talks on Wednesday, the White House said, after President Donald Trump rattled financial markets by accusing Beijing of trying to stall in hopes he will fail to win reelection in 2020.

The meeting, aimed at ending a tariff war over trade and technology, ended about 40 minutes ahead of schedule. Neither delegation spoke to reporters before U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left for the airport.

But White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement hours later that “the meetings were constructive,” and that talks are expected to resume in Washington in September, though exact dates were not announced.

According to the statement, the Chinese confirmed their commitment to President Donald Trump to buy more U.S. agricultural exports, something Trump had publicly been casting doubt on.

Economists had said quick breakthroughs were unlikely because the two governments face the same disagreements over China’s technology policy and trade surplus that caused talks to break down in May. Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume negotiations but neither has given any sign of offering big concessions.

The dispute over U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology has battered exporters on both sides and disrupted trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment. Trump has raised tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports while Beijing responded by taxing $110 billion of U.S. products.

Chinese leaders are resisting U.S. pressure to roll back plans for government-led development of industry leaders in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Washington complains those efforts depend on stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology.

For their part, American negotiators are reluctant to cede to Chinese demands that punitive U.S. tariffs be lifted immediately. Trump wants to keep some penalties in place to ensure Beijing carries out any agreement.

Rhetoric on both sides has hardened, prompting suggestions U.S. and Chinese leaders are settling in for a “war of attrition.”

In Washington, Trump accused Beijing of wanting to stall through the 2020 presidential election in hopes of being able to negotiate with a more malleable Democrat. He said that if reelected, he would get “much tougher” with Beijing.

“China would love to wait and just hope,” Trump told reporters Tuesday.

“They’ll pray that Trump loses,” he said. “And then they’ll make a deal with a stiff, somebody that doesn’t know what they’re doing.”

Separately on Twitter, Trump warned that if he wins in 2020, “the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all.”

Asian stock markets tumbled Wednesday after Trump’s comments. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.7%, Hong Kong’s market benchmark dropped 1.3% and Tokyo lost 0.9%.

Trump’s “aggressively tinged” remarks were a “stark reminder to investors that the U.S. and China are no closer to an agreement and, in fact, might be drifting farther apart,” Stephen Innes of VM Markets said in a report.

Negotiators in Shanghai were also expected to discuss the fate of telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Ltd. Washington put the company, China’s first global tech brand, on a security list in May that blocks purchases of U.S. components and technology.

The United States says Huawei is a national security threat, an accusation the company denies. Trump has said it could be a bargaining chip in the trade dispute.

The U.S. and China are trying to “reset” trade discussions after talks broke down back in May. Politico says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will hold face-to-face conversations with Chinese officials on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There are a lot of important items on the discussion schedule, including agriculture, intellectual property, forced technology transfers, trade deficits, and enforcement. There’s a lot at stake for U.S. farmers as President Trump is still seeking major Chinese agricultural purchases from the U.S. after reaching a short-term truce with Chinese President Xi in late June.

However, Beijing recently approved new wheat and soybean imports from Russia as the two countries are looking to increase their agricultural-trade activities. Also on the trade front, the Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister is scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for trade talks with Lighthizer. The U.S. is looking for a limited trade agreement in the coming weeks aimed primarily at agriculture and automobiles. Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet in late August and late September, which Politico says could be two chances to either sign or shake hands on a mini-deal.

Chinese companies are willing to import more U.S. farm goods, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday, as envoys prepared to meet in Shanghai next week for talks aimed at ending a tariff war.

The announcement appeared to be aimed at defusing President Donald Trump’s criticism that Beijing was backsliding on a promise to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American farm products.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, confirmed that trade envoys Tuesday will hold their first face-to-face talks on Tuesday since Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume negotiations on the conflict that has battered exporters and rattled financial markets.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier in Washington that he and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would meet Chinese officials.

Gao said Chinese importers will negotiate with U.S. suppliers of farm goods, though he said there was “no direct relationship” with next week’s talks.

“Chinese companies have the willingness to continue importing some agricultural products from the United States,” Gao said at a news conference. “They have already inquired and will negotiate contracts with US suppliers.”

Beijing blocked imports of U.S. soybeans and raised tariffs on other farm products in response to Trump’s duty increases on Chinese goods in response to complaints about China’s technology development plans.

China agreed last year to buy more American agricultural goods, natural gas and other exports but scrapped that after one of Trump’s tariff hikes.

The Chinese government said in June that any purchases must be at a reasonable level, suggesting Beijing was becoming more cautious about making commitments before it sees what Washington offers in exchange. Trump recently accused Beijing of backsliding, saying on Twitter that “China is letting us down.”

Asked whether Washington must lift curbs on technology sales to Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei for talks to make progress, Gao said Beijing wants the United States to “stop using erroneous government measures to suppress Chinese enterprises.” He gave no details.

Trump imposed curbs last month on exports of U.S. components and technology to Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand. The company has warned its sales of smartphones and network equipment will be badly hurt.

As the one-year anniversary of China’s acknowledgment of ASF in its country’s herds nears (August 3), it’s a good time to evaluate where the U.S. pork industry stands in its ability to deal with this ongoing threat that has now engulfed much of southeast Asia.

“We’re definitely in a better position today to deal with a threat such as African swine fever,” says National Pork Board President David Newman, a producer representing Arkansas. “That said, we can never be too prepared with a devastating disease like this. What I like though is how much our industry has come together over the past 12 months in a spirit of collaboration to get the job done.”

It’s this kind of industry-wide collaboration that Dave Pyburn, the Pork Checkoff’s senior vice president of science and technology, says is the key point that he wants everyone to realize. “It’s always gratifying to see how willing the pork industry is to come together for a common goal. We are so much more effective when we get together to solve issues posed by threats such as ASF.”

Catalyst for Collaboration

For almost a year, the Pork Checkoff has taken a leading role in collaborating with multiple government and industry partners to protect the United States from African swine fever (ASF). Primary partners in this effort include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Pork Producers Council, the North American Meat Institute, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center. When it comes to working on feed biosecurity issues specifically, the American Feed Industry Association has also been essential to the effort.

By combining their resources, these organizations and others have been able to achieve a comprehensive response to ASF that has helped to harden the defenses of the domestic swine industry against this costly foreign animal disease and others like it.

“You can break our industry response to ASF into four main areas,” Pyburn says. “We have research, education, prevention and preparedness, which is where we will continue to focus our combined efforts.”

Tax cuts in China could offset trade war harm and support economic growth. A China International Capital Corporation economist told CNBC tax cuts in China could provide growth needed to offset economic losses from the trade war. However, the economist says more tariffs from the U.S. poses risks to the growth potential.

President Trump still holds a proposed round of additional tariffs against China, if trade talks don’t make progress. China launched a personal income tax cut in March, which led to an increase in retail sales, up 9.8 percent from a year ago. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to China next week to continue negotiations with China. The White House says the discussion will “cover a range of issues,” including agriculture.

The negotiations stalled in May when China backtracked on previously agreed-to provisions of a potential agreement. Retaliation against U.S. tariffs by China have focused on U.S. agriculture, slowing China purchases of U.S. ag products.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is returning to China next week to further talks aimed at resolving a trade battle between Washington and Beijing.

Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will spend Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with Chinese leaders in Shanghai. He says he expects more meetings before any deal is done, with the next round likely in Washington.

Mnuchin says he sees it as a good omen that China chose to meet in Shanghai. Shanghai is where the U.S. and China conducted diplomacy aimed at normalizing relations during the Nixon administration.

The White House said afterward that the talks will cover a range of issues, including intellectual property, forced technology transfers, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, the U.S.-China trade deficit and enforcement.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday accused China of “letting us down” by not promptly buying more U.S. farm products.

“They have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would,” the president said on Twitter. “Hopefully, they will start soon.”

After meeting with President Xi Jinping late last month, Trump said China had agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural products as part of a cease-fire in the two countries’ trade war. The truce suspended U.S. plans to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods — action that would have extended the taxes to everything China ships to America.

The United States and China are sparring over the Trump administration’s allegations that Beijing is using predatory tactics — including stealing sensitive technology and forcing U.S. firms to hand over trade secrets — to try to supplant American technological supremacy.

Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing has counterpunched by taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods, specifically targeting U.S. farm products produced by many Trump supporters in the U.S. heartland.

The administration has rolled out $27 billion in aid to farmers to ease the pain.

Trump and Xi agreed to restart negotiations that had broken down in May after 11 rounds of talks. So far, the two countries’ top envoys have spoken by phone but haven’t announced plans to resume face-to-face talks.

In addition to opposing sharp-elbowed Chinese tech policies, the United States wants Beijing to buy more U.S. products and to narrow America’s trade deficit with China — a record $381 billion last year.

Last month, a former Chinese diplomat, Zhao Weiping, told reporters in New York that the United States was asking “us to purchase more than we can buy.” He added, “You have to be realistic.”

Still, Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said Thursday that “our side expects China very soon to start purchasing American agriculture commodities, crops, goods and services.”

Poland’s foreign minister says the country would like China to open up its market further to goods from Poland.

Jacek Czaputowicz spoke Monday following talks with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on intensifying political and business ties between the two nations.

Czaputowicz said the greatest challenge was balancing off the trade exchange and increasing Poland’s exports to China.

Of some $33 billion worth of Poland-China trade in 2018, Poland’s exports amounted to only $2.5 billion.

Poland is aspiring to be China’s key partner in Europe, as Beijing is developing its business ties across the world.

Czaputowicz and Wang also spoke on developing bilateral partnerships in transport, agriculture, tourism and finance.