Trump promises farmers that China trade deal to be good for them

Trump promises farmers that China trade deal to be good for them

US President Donald Trump sought yesterday to assure American farmers and ranchers hit by a protracted tariff war with China that a trade agreement he signed with Beijing will lead to major purchases of US agricultural products.

Trump’s remarks in Texas, a state he won in 2016 and will need again in November’s election, had all the hallmarks of a political stump speech, with a slam at Democrats trying to remove him through impeachment and a wish he could wear a cowboy hat in Washington.

He began his remarks to the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Austin by waving a copy of a Farm Journal poll that said he had wide support among farmers and ranchers.

Trump said the initial trade deal he signed with China last Wednesday would be a boon for farmers, whom he thanked for sticking with him after he twice had to allocate multibillion-dollar bailouts for producers targeted by Chinese tariffs.

“You stayed in the fight,” said Trump. “You were always with me. You never even thought of giving up and we got it done.”

His Senate impeachment trial is set to begin in earnest on Tuesday.

“By these radical-left lunatics I get impeached. But that’s OK, the farmers are sticking with Trump,” he said.

The Phase 1 trade deal with China was meant to reduce tensions after 18 months of a tit-for-tat tariff war between the world’s two largest economies that has hit global growth.

It included a pledge by China to purchase at least an additional US$12.5 billion worth of agricultural goods in 2020 and at least US$19.5 billion over the 2017 level of US$24 billion in 2021.

Analysts have said a number of issues remain unresolved. The Phase 1 agreement will leave in place 25% tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers, and China’s retaliatory tariffs on over US$100 billion in US goods.


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President Donald TrumpUSUS-China trade deal