Trade war: China says US soybeans, pork to be exempt from tariff hikes

U.S. soybeans and pork, in addition to some other farm products, will be exempt from additional tariff hikes, easing tensions between the two sides ahead of trade negotiations next month, according to a Chinese state news agency.

Continue Reading Below

The official Xinhua News Agency announced the move Friday, cited unidentified official sources, but gave no details.

The U.S. and China agreed to meet in early October for another round of trade negotiations in Washington, but there has been no sign of progress on the main issues in their sprawling conflict over trade and technology. In fact, economists are lacking optimism over a final deal due to the scale of disagreements between the two governments who escalated their fight on Sept. 1.

Nearly 80 percent of economists feel the trade war will worsen or stay the same over the coming year, according to economists in a Reuters poll.


Tariff hikes by both sides on billions of dollars of goods have disrupted business for farms and factories in both countries, weighing on global economic growth.

American soybean farmers are among the hardest hit from the prolonged trade war.

“The prospect of reductions in tariffs on soy and pork is energizing news for U.S. farmers,” David Salmonsen, senior director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation told FOX Business. “And while we don’t yet know if this meant just to stop new increases or reduce tariffs already in place, this is a good sign for the future. Farmers and ranchers need the Chinese market.”

Friday's developments follow President Trump's announcement earlier this week that he would postpone a planned Oct. 1 tariff hike on Chinese imports to Oct. 15 as a goodwill gesture.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.