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Trump postpones meeting with China

Trump postpones meeting with China

The two countries were to meet to review the Phase One trade agreement

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A planned review of the Phase One trade agreement the U.S. and China signed in January has been postponed until further notice.

President Trump cancelled the meeting, originally scheduled for Aug. 15, because of China’s coronavirus management.

“I postponed talks with China. You know why? I don’t want to deal with them right now,” the president said, Reuters reported. “What China did to the world was not even thinkable. They could have stopped (the virus).”

Other reports indicate the two sides had scheduling issues.

And no alternative date has been set, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters, Reuters reported.

From an ag perspective, China committed in year one of the deal to purchase $12.5 billion of additional ag goods on top of the 2017 baseline amount of $23.8 billion from that year.

But in the first half of the year, China only purchased about $8.7 billion of U.S. farm products, or about 24 percent of its commitment for 2020.

Despite that, issues within China could put the U.S. in a position to see more ag purchases the rest of the year.

“China continues to be the biggest source of demand for U.S. ag as of now, said Abhinesh Gopal, head of commodity research with Risk Management. “Especially when you consider China is facing production issues and questions of food sufficiency.

“The rest of 2020 could see even bigger purchases, assuming that China is committed to sticking to the trade deal.”

Purchases and shipments, however, are different items, Gopal explained.

Purchases can still result in cancellations. The more documented shipments, the better.

“Shipments are goods that have been sent out to the destination,” he said. “China needs U.S. ag and U.S. prices are very competitive right now.”

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