China would be proposing the purchase of agricultural products from the United States for an additional US $ 30,000 million a year. These include soybeans, corn and wheat, as part of a possible trade agreement negotiated by both countries, according to sources familiar with the plan.
The offer to buy extra agricultural products would be part of the memoranda of understanding that the US and Chinese negotiators in Washington are discussing, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because the plans are not public knowledge. The purchases would be above prewar levels and would continue during the period covered by the memos, they said.
As part of the talks, officials also plan to discuss the elimination of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs for dry distillers grains, a byproduct of corn ethanol production used in animal feed, the sources previously said.
China has repeatedly offered to increase purchases of agricultural and energy products to reduce the US trade deficit. Since a tariff truce agreed in December, imports of some agricultural products, including soybeans, have resumed, and President Donald Trump said this week that “bulk” corn would be next on Beijing’s shopping list.
It is also said that the MoUs under discussion cover areas that include non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and intellectual property. The enforcement mechanism remains unclear, but would likely be a threat that tariffs will be reimplanted if the conditions are not met, a source said earlier.
No one responded to a fax sent to the Ministry of Commerce of China on Thursday night. Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry, said at a previous briefing that he had no details about any MoU that is being discussed with the United States. He also commented that he could not offer any information about the results of the commercial talks until the end of the current round.
In 2017, China imported a total of US $ 24.2 billion in US agricultural products, with 60% of that in oilseeds and the rest in products such as meat, cotton, cereals and seafood. The combined purchases fell by a third to around US $ 16,000 million last year when China’s 25 retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products reduced imports.