What Happened: China will exclude soybeans, pork and some other agricultural products from its list of additional tariffs on U.S. imports, according to a Sept. 13 report by Xinhua, China's official news agency. Meanwhile, private Chinese firms have bought roughly 600,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans, marking the largest Chinese purchase of the commodity since June.
Why It Matters: China is reciprocating a recent U.S. decision to delay the next round of scheduled tariffs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, hoping that limited soybean purchases will facilitate renewed trade negotiations with the United States. However, Beijing is unlikely to commit to large-scale agricultural imports until both sides can finalize a trade truce and Washington delays or suspends additional rounds of tariffs.
Background: China reportedly offered last week to buy a limited amount of U.S. agricultural products in exchange for a delay in U.S. tariffs and possibly easing restrictions on tech giant Huawei. On Sept. 11, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the delay in the tariff increase on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from 25 to 30 percent. Negotiators from both sides are scheduled to meet later this month, and top-level officials are planning a sit-down in October.
- U.S., China: A Sign of Hope for Renewed Trade Talks (Sept. 12, 2019)
- Propelled by U.S. Trade Talks, China Charts a Course to Soybean Security (June 28, 2019)
- Agriculture Is Still Vital to U.S. Trade Talks — For Now (May 2, 2019)