AFBF Photo --
Trump gave closing remarks at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention on Monday, Jan. 14. During the speech he talked about trade.
AFBF Photo -- Trump gave closing remarks at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention on Monday, Jan. 14. During the speech he talked about trade.

From News Reports

The most recent round of trade talks between the U.S. and China wrapped up last week and covered a wide range of topics. China’s Commerce Ministry released a statement saying the talks are helping to establish a way forward to wrap up the dispute between the two largest economies in the world. However, a Reuters report says the statement didn’t give many specifics on the issues the negotiators are trying to work through. 

It’s the first time the two sides have talked since U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi agreed to a 90-day truce during a meeting in Buenos Aires. The Chinese Commerce Ministry statement says the two sides “held extensive, deep, and thorough exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, which promoted mutual understanding and established a foundation for resolving each other’s concerns.” The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR)issued a statement saying the two sides discussed “ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations.” The Reuters report says China pledged to buy “a substantial amount” of agricultural, energy, and manufacturing goods from the U.S.

U.S. and Chinese officials also discussed issues related to intellectual property protections and the need for any agreement that resolves the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies “to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement,” USTR said.

If no deal is reached by March 2, Trump has said he will proceed with raising tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, at a time when China’s economy is slowing significantly. Beijing has already retaliated with its own tariffs on U.S. products.

China’s economic slowdown is reaching the lowest level of growth since 1990 reports John Woods, Credit Suisse’s chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific in the South China Morning Star newspaper.

Credit Suisse is expecting the nation’s gross domestic product growth to slow to 6.2 percent this year.

The country’s economic growth slowed to 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, below analysts’ expectations.

Woods said he believes the Chinese government, through stimulus, has the levers available to smooth growth.

“The composition of growth will change. The target of growth will remain the same,” he said. “If for example we (China) have a subpar trade resolution, the government will open the taps to investment and state-led manufacturing and that will generate 6.2. If conversely, the trade dispute has a very positive resolution, the private sector will drive that growth through consumption and services.”

At the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th annual convention President Trump gave the closing session remarks on Monday.

Regarding trade tariffs and wars, he reassured farmers in attendance that his administration is working on “Trade deals that get you so much business you’re not even going to believe it. Your problem will be ‘What do we do? We need more acreage immediately.’ We are doing somethings with trade that are going to have a tremendous impact,” Trump said.

Specifically, about China, he said $375 Billion is lost each year to the country and that can’t continue. 

“Over the last 15 years, we have seen a continual decline in the U.S share of agricultural trade all throughout the world. Going the wrong way, you know that. Wait until you see what happens. We do the right deal with China and you’re talking about massive… and they are already ordering. They are going to order. We are turning it all around with fair trade deals that put American farmers, ranchers and America first.”