Soybean Growers Relieved to Hear Positive Trade News from G20

The American Soybean Association (ASA) was pleased to hear positive reports from the G20 Summit Saturday night that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have potentially agreed to deescalate the current trade friction by not raising tariffs further while negotiations continue. According to a White House statement, China has also agreed to purchase more U.S. agricultural and other products.

John Heisdorffer, a soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, and ASA president said, “This is the first positive news we’ve seen after months of downturned prices and halted shipments. If this suspension of tariff increases leads to a longer-term agreement, it will be extremely positive for the soy industry. We want to begin repairing damage done to our trade relations with China, which has been essential to successful soybean exports for years.”

Under the agreement reached on Saturday, tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will not increase to 25 percent on January 1 from the current 10 percent level. Details have not been announced regarding the quantity of U.S. goods that China will purchase, but the White House statement indicated that purchases of ag products would begin immediately.

Trump and Xi struck the deal during a dinner Saturday night following the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The agreement apparently has a moratorium of 90 days for both sides to come to resolution on issues including technology transfer, intellectual property protection, and other concerns.

“During the 90-day negotiating period, ASA hopes to see China reopen its market to significant U.S. soybean imports as a key confidence-building step that will help restore our trade relationship,” Heisdorffer said. “This is an important opportunity to demonstrate positive momentum that will strengthen efforts on both sides to restore economic relations that are mutually beneficial.”

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