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USTR, USDA release U.S.-China agricultural trade report

 CTSY: Associated Press
CTSY: Associated Press (WLUC)
Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIBW) - The U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its U.S.-China agricultural trade report.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it and the U.S. Trade Representative issued a report focusing on the progress made in implementing the agricultural provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, delivering historic results for American agriculture.

According to the USDA, the agreement entered into force, the U.S. and China have addressed various structural barriers in China that had been impeding exports of U.S. food and agricultural products. Currently, it says China has implemented at least 50 of the 57 commitments under the Phase One Agreement. It said the structural changes will help American farmers for decades to come.

The USDA also said China has substantially increased its purchases of U.S. agricultural products, about 71% of its target under the Phase One Agreement. It said highlights in the report include the following:

  • Corn: Outstanding sales of U.S. corn to China are at an all-time high of 8.7 million tons.
  • Soybeans: U.S. soybeans sales for the marketing year 2021 are off to the strongest start in history, with outstanding sales to China double 2017 levels.
  • Sorghum: U.S. exports of sorghum to China from January to August 2020 totaled $617 million, up from $561 million for the same period in 2017.
  • Pork: U.S. pork exports to China hit an all-time record in just the first five months of 2020.
  • Beef: U.S. beef and beef products exports to China through August 2020 are already more than triple the total for 2017.

Additionally, the USDA said it expects 2020 sales to China to hit record or near-record levels for other U.S. agricultural products like pet food, alfalfa hay, pecans and prepared foods.

“This China Phase One Agreement is proof President Trump’s negotiating strategy is working. While it took China a long time to realize President Trump was serious, this deal is a huge success for the entire economy. This agreement finally levels the playing field for U.S. agriculture and is a bonanza for America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Being able to participate in this market in a more fair and equitable way has generated more sales that are supporting higher prices and strengthening the rural economy.”

“President Trump delivered on his promise to confront China’s unfair trade practices and expand market opportunities for U.S. agriculture through the Phase One Agreement. Since the Agreement entered into force eight months ago, we have seen remarkable improvements in our agricultural trade relationship with China, which will benefit our farmers and ranchers for years to come,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The USDA said it and the USTR continue to work closely with the Chinese government to make sure that the Phase One Agreement is fully and properly implemented so that access for food and agricultural products into the Chinese market can continue expanding.

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