The U.S. and China are working together on a trade deal that would allow the sale of beef, chicken and other major products between the world’s two largest economies.
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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, the deal takes three “gigantic” steps to chip away at the nation’s crippling trade deficit.
“For more than a decade we’ve been trying to get legitimate U.S. beef exports into China and they had expressed some concerns about the mad cow disease… use of hormones. Now we’ve overcome those obstacles and as of July 16, the U.S. will be free to export livestock to China,” he said, adding that the U.S. would now have access to a $2 billion market.
President Trump touted the deal on Twitter this morning and fired back at critics saying “this is real news.”
China just agreed that the U.S. will be allowed to sell beef, and other major products, into China once again. This is REAL news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Additionally, Ross said they have worked on a new “regime” for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, which will allow China, the world’s largest importer of LNG, to sign long-term contracts with U.S. exporters.
“There had been some regulatory snafus frankly on both sides of the equation which we now have cleared up,” he said. “LNG prices have been languishing for quite a little while because, frankly, we have a good deal of oversupply. So it seemed weird, we have too much of it, it’s much cleaner than coal would be, and yet we weren’t really doing a big job of exporting it to China.”
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The agreement would also open negotiations on biotech.
“China had been resistant to biotech, to genetically engineered products coming from the U.S. into China. There have been eight applications that have been stalled, and stalled and stalled," Ross said. "Now we’ve worked out this whole regime where there will be a definitive hearing on it before the end of this very month, and then there’s a whole process for fixing whatever imperfections there may be left over after that."
On the campaign trail, President Trump accused China of rigging their currency and being untrustworthy, but Ross says the deal will hold them accountable.
“They are pinned down to very specific actions on very specific very near term dates,” he said. “We’ve never had trade deals before, we didn’t with them or with anybody that had this level of precision to solving long-standing problems.”