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Chinese companies seeking new purchases of U.S. farm products: Xinhua

EconomyJul 21, 2019 12:16PM ET
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© Reuters. Flags of U.S. and China are displayed at AICC's booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - Some Chinese companies are seeking new purchases of U.S. agricultural products, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, citing authorities, as Beijing and Washington look for ways to end a protracted trade war.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at last month's G20 summit in Osaka to restart trade talks that stalled in May.

Trump said at the time he would not impose new tariffs and U.S. officials said China agreed to make agricultural purchases. But Trump said on July 11 that China was not living up to promises to buy U.S. farm goods.

Chinese businesses have made inquiries with U.S. exporters to buy crops and agricultural products and applied for the lifting of tariffs, Xinhua said, citing Chinese authorities.

China's Customs Tariff Commission will arrange for experts to appraise the Chinese companies' tariff exclusion applications, Xinhua said.

"Relevant Chinese departments expressed hope that the United States would meet China halfway, and earnestly implement the United States' relevant promises," the news agency said, without elaborating.

The world's two largest economies have been embroiled in a tariff battle since July 2018, as the United States presses China to address what it sees as decades of unfair and illegal trading practices.

China has countered that any trade deal needs to be fair and equitable, leaving the two sides apparently still far from an agreement to end the back-and-forth that has rocked global supply chains and upended financial markets.

Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of China's nationalist Global Times newspaper, tweeted in English earlier on Sunday that Chinese importers have started arrangements for purchasing U.S. agricultural products, and suggested that the United States and China could soon resume in-person trade talks.

"This is a prominent part from (the) Chinese side as the two countries have signaled goodwill to each other recently. It also indicates China-U.S. trade consultations will restart soon," Hu said.

Trump said on Friday that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had a very good talk with his Chinese counterpart the day before. He has also touted U.S. economic performance, and said China is "not doing very well".

China has confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan spoke by phone on Thursday with Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding "further consultations, as well as the implementation of presidential consensus reached in Osaka".

China made its biggest purchase of U.S. sorghum since April earlier this month, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data issued on Thursday.

China, which is the world's top soybean importer, also canceled purchases of 9,853 metric tons of U.S. soy this month, according to Thursday's USDA data. It was China's first weekly net cancellation of soybeans since April.

Chinese companies seeking new purchases of U.S. farm products: Xinhua
 

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Comments (5)
Fred Smith
Fred Smith Jul 22, 2019 2:16PM ET
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China should try to sell their junk to El Salvador or Cambodia
Lynn McCord
the907man Jul 21, 2019 4:34PM ET
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I hope they don’t. American farmers should grow crops for free nations. It’s time to move on to mutually beneficial relationships with actual partners. Full tariffs and a full decoupling from China is what is best for America. It’s time to say good bye to this lying, cheating and stealing autocratic dictatorship. That’s America’s “win-win”.
Jeff Chevalier
Jeff Chevalier Jul 21, 2019 4:34PM ET
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Give up your phone, tv and most likely the clothes on your back if you want nothing Chinese.
Tom OKray
Tom OKray Jul 21, 2019 4:34PM ET
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Do that an watch Anerica fall into a depression because of no good to satisfy Americas needs. Your economics are as bad as your hero's Trumps.
Lynn McCord
the907man Jul 21, 2019 4:34PM ET
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Jeff Chevalier  . While my iPhone is assembled in China, it’s an American product. If my next one is made in India or Mexico, that’s fine with me. Korean TVs work just fine. Have you seen the picture on those new Samsungs? Additionally, 95% of my clothes are definitely not made in China. My kitchen utensils and Christmas lights are made in China though. For most things, I prefer better quality.
David David
David9 Jul 21, 2019 2:19PM ET
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China has been very consistent with their statement. They want US to meet halfway for a win win for both sides. If Trump don't get what that means, then I think he is done. China will just sit back and wait him out.
Dennis Liu
Dennis Liu Jul 21, 2019 2:19PM ET
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The US lived up to their side of their bargain of not raising tariffs, it’s the Chinese not living their part of the bargain of buying agriculture products. They’re the ones not meeting halfway.
Changyi He
Changyi He Jul 21, 2019 12:44PM ET
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It's too late to save majority of American farmers from bankruptcy. But it's still a good gesture. I hope US is not dumb enough to restart a losing fight again
Bagger Vance
Bagger Vance Jul 21, 2019 11:28AM ET
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Spoiled those beans down south so they have to buy from us. Genius.
 
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