Trump says Chinese demand after 'greatest deal ever made' may overwhelm US farmers
President Trump lauded the partial trade agreement he struck with China this week, calling it the “greatest and best” deal in a tweet Saturday morning.
As part of the deal -- which Trump and President Xi Jinping could sign as soon as next month -- China agreed to raise its agricultural purchases to between $40 billion and $50 billion from $8 billion to $16 billion and to make certain reforms on intellectual property and financial services. The U.S. will not raise tariffs on Oct. 15 from 25 percent to 30 percent.
It’s still unclear whether Trump plans to halt another round of tariffs that are set to take effect on Dec. 15.
“The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country,” he wrote. “In fact, there is a question as to whether or not this much product can be produced? Our farmers will figure it out. Thank you China!”
Phase two negotiations are expected to begin immediately after the first agreement is signed. (China’s trade team is not calling the decision a “deal,” but rather a pause in the 15-month long tit-for-tat tariff war).
“Other aspects of the deal are also great,” Trump said on Saturday. “But WOW, the Farmers really hit pay dirt!”
Farmers -- an important voting base for Trump -- have been one of the biggest casualties of the trade war.
China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans, importing more than $12.4 billion worth of the oil seed in 2017, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Retaliatory tariffs by China resulted in U.S. soybean exports to China falling by more than 80 percent, though sales accelerated ahead of the talks in Washington this week.
FOX Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.
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