China likely to increase imports of US farm goods: expert

By Wang Cong Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/25 18:48:40

A combine and a grain cart work in a soybean field of Pellett family's farm in Atlantic, a small city in Iowa, the United States, Oct. 16, 2019.Photo:Xinhua

China is likely to further increase purchases of US agricultural produce and other items in the remaining months of the year, as its economy rapidly recovers from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and it continues to carry out the phase one trade deal with the US, Chinese analysts said on Sunday.

A large number of deals, including purchases of US agricultural and other products, could be signed during the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, which hundreds of US companies and business groups will attend, experts noted. 

Still, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and various restrictions on high-tech products imposed by the US government, meeting the goal set by the phase one trade deal 100 percent could be hard, they added.

Chinese and US officials have in recent days praised the progress made in the implementation of the agreement that was signed earlier this year, and reiterated their commitment to further implement the deal, despite a cooling in bilateral ties and Washington's constant attacks on China in a range of fields from technology trade to virus prevention.

In a joint statement on Friday, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that the phase one trade agreement has delivered "historic" results for US agriculture, pointing to the progress in the implementation of the deal.

Beijing had implemented at least 50 of the 57 technical commitments under the deal, and it had purchased more than $23 billion worth of agricultural products, about 71 percent of the target set in the agreement, according to the joint statement.


"The rather positive remark from Washington showed that the US still very much wants to move forward with the deal and that, under its current economic hardship, it needs the deal more than ever," Huo Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Huo said that the US' positive attitude is in line with that of the Chinese side, which has made it clear that it would carry out the agreement. "With both sides committed, I think it's likely we will see purchases of US products increase significantly in the remaining months of the year," he said.

The USTR-USDA joint statement came just days after senior Chinese officials, in meetings with leaders of the US-China Business Council, reiterated that China was willing to work with the US to overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to jointly implement the trade deal.

With a solid recovery in the economy, which saw an impressive 4.9-percent expansion in the third quarter, and the opening of the CIIE, major deals for the purchase of US agricultural and other products could be expected, experts said.

"That's in line with rising demand in the domestic market," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday, adding that it's "very likely we will see some major deals" at the CIIE.

More than 150 US companies have been confirmed to attend the CIIE, scheduled for November 5-10 in Shanghai, including 3M, Qualcomm Technologies, Pfizer and Exxon Mobil Corp, according to media reports.

Zhang Xiaoping, country director for China at the US Soybean Export Council, told the Global Times that the US soybean industry would also attend the CIIE. "Though the exhibiting area would be slightly smaller, there will be more products [on display] because some member companies will attend," Zhang said.


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