China plans US farm product purchases, shows sincerity to reach deal

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/21 20:12:39

China is making plans to purchase agricultural products from the US, a gesture experts said shows Beijing's sincerity and goodwill to push forward the bilateral trade negotiations, and also a firm step of realizing the consensus made by the two heads of state during the G20 meeting.

Whether the two will take further steps and make progress in their trade talks depends on the US side, they noted.  

Unidentified Chinese enterprises have inquired with US exporters about the purchase of agricultural products, and also applied for the lifting of Chinese tariffs on the farm products in accordance with the regulations of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday, citing Chinese authorities.

"It sends a positive signal for the upcoming trade negotiations between the two governments and is also a firm step of realizing the consensus made by the two heads of state during the G20 meeting" in Osaka, Japan, Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of, a website specializing in grain news, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"China always holds a positive and open attitude toward the bilateral trade relationship. The move shows that China is now stepping up efforts to avoid worsening the trade tensions, which would be harmful for both countries."

A tit-for-tat trade conflict between the world's two largest economies has been ongoing for months, and the stalled talks will resume after leaders of the two countries reached a truce last month.

In the latest sign of progress, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talked with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the phone at the latter's invitation late Thursday. The two sides exchanged views on carrying out a consensus reached at  the G20 Summit and holding further talks, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the talks were "very good," and Mnuchin said face-to-face talks could follow, according to a Reuters report.

Despite the progress that has been made, Jiao cautioned that unpredictable factors on the US side remain and should be taken into consideration, which has caused setbacks in the trade talks before.

He further noted that China has seen a bumper summer grain harvest that will guarantee its domestic grain supply. Even though China can resume some grain imports from the US, the imports won't have a strong impact on the Chinese market.

Analysts cautioned that the two countries may have a long way to go before a trade deal could be made because of the US' lack of sincerity. On Tuesday, Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, warned on Wednesday that if the US imposes new tariffs, "there will be an even longer way to go before reaching a deal."

Geng noted that Trump had agreed to allow US companies to continue supplying Huawei during the G20 meeting in Japan, and asked "how and when will the US act on its commitment? It concerns the country's reputation and credibility. And the world is watching."

"We hope the US side could meet China halfway and realize its promises," the Xinhua report quoted relevant Chinese departments as saying.
Newspaper headline: China plans US farm product purchases, shows sincerity


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