President Donald Trump on Monday said China has agreed to buy “massive amounts” of farm and agricultural products from the U.S., just one day after the administration said the trade war with the world’s second largest economy was on hold.
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“China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products - would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!” Trump said in a tweet.
Negotiators from the U.S. and China announced on Saturday that the two nation’s created a framework for addressing the trade imbalances, which included Beijing agreeing to purchase more American-made goods.
“We agreed [on] was a framework for going forward that had a number of elements to it,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told “Mornings with Maria” on Monday. “It had some specific thoughts on specific products, which we’ll be trying to flush out, and it covered lots of other things. The intellectual property, forced technology transfers, a whole gamut of things, but it’s not a definitive agreement, it’s a framework.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters outside the White House on Monday he expects China to increase purchases of U.S. farm and agriculture products by 35% to 40% in the “near future,” and that Ross will travel to China next week to finalize the agreement.
“Secretary Ross has to go over and turn that into a signed piece of paper with companies,” Mnuchin said. “This is not a government-to-government purchase order, but we have an agreement with them as to what will be executed.”
The president also tweeted on Monday that “barriers and tariffs” will come down for the “first time,” and that under the potential deal, China would purchase “practically as much as our farmers can produce.”
Representatives from the two nations held trade talks earlier this month, with the U.S. demanding China cut its trade surplus by $200 billion, sharply lower tariffs and advance technology subsidies. Washington and Beijing previously threatened to impose tens of billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions on each other’s exports. With nominal GDPs of nearly $19.4 trillion and approximately $12 trillion, the U.S. and China are the world’s largest economies, respectively.