Market News & Headlines >> China Agrees to Buy Added $32 Billion in U.S. Ag Products

China has agreed to buy $32 billion of additional U.S. farm products over the next two years as part of a “phase-one” trade pact that will be signed in early January, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer told reporters on Friday. 

China also agreed to “binding, enforceable” changes to certain practices, including pressuring U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese companies, Lighthizer said. 

Beijing pledged to buy $16 billion in additional U.S. farm productions in the first year under the agreement, on top of the 2017 baseline of $24 billion, the USTR said, adding that China agreed to make its best efforts to increase U.S. agricultural purchases to $50 billion per year. 

In total, China agreed to buy an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. manufacturing products, farm products, energy and services, Lighthizer said.  In return, President Trump agreed to forego indefinitely further tariff hikes on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect on Dec. 15 and roll back existing U.S. tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese goods. 

Lighthizer said the tariff cuts would take effect 30 days after the agreement is signed. The trade deal will likely be signed by the trade principles in Washington during the first week of January and he does not expect a presidential signing, Lighthizer said. 

A fact sheet published by the USTR’s office on its website says the phase-one trade agreement establishes “a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement”. 

The trade deal “addresses structural barriers to trade and will support a dramatic expansion of U.S. food, agriculture and seafood product exports,” the fact sheet says. "A multitude of non-tariff barriers to U.S. agriculture and seafood products are addressed, including for meat, poultry, seafood, rice, dairy, infant formula, horticultural products, animal feed and feed additives, pet food, and products of agriculture biotechnology."