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Following up from last week’s issue, Trumped, pointing out that US farmers were experiencing their best year ever thanks to the US China Phase 1 Trade Deal, there is speculation in the media that China will seek to re-negotiate the terms of the deal with the US President-Elect, Joe Biden. The word “twisted” appears to have been used to describe the current deal in Beijing, suggesting that this will be a high priority for the Chinese Government.

As mentioned in the SCMP: “The phase one trade deal was hammered out after months of painful negotiations and 18 months of trade war tariffs piling up on both sides. It saw China commit to buying US$200 billion in additional US goods on top of 2017 levels, but stopped short of forcing major structural changes to China’s economic model”. 

The SCMP goes on to say, “while its purchases of US farm goods ratcheted up in the run up to the election, China is still not close to achieving its import targets for 2020. At the end of September, it was only on track to meet 54% of its purchase target. While it ramped up imports of soybeans, corn and pork since the summer months, China is on track to meet just 65% of agricultural purchase targets this year. China’s trade surplus with the US was 46.5% higher than the day Trump took office, suggesting that efforts to run down the deficit had not worked”.

Those of us who are less concerned about the US-China Trade deficit, and more worried about the impact of the trade deal on our own agricultural exports to China, will be relieved to learn that it could have been so much worse!

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