President Trump announced today a “phase one” trade agreement with China. Part of the deal includes a dramatic increase in agricultural products to be sold to China, ramping up from around $16 billion worth per year at its highest historic mark to $40-$50 billion per year moving forward. Current levels are estimated at around $8 billion. While announcing it, the President said farmers should immediately “buy more land and get bigger tractors.”
The deal is expected to be written and signed in three to five weeks. It was negotiated on China’s behalf by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
Both economies have suffered through the trade war that started last year between the two biggest economies in the world. But pressure seems to have hit China harder as they are generally the exporter while America is more of an importer. The President’s goal of balancing out trade between the two countries prompted back-and-forth tariffs. This deal stops upcoming tariffs, at least temporarily.
Also included are intellectual property and financial services, two sticking points between the countries since long before President Trump took office.
I’m hopeful, but I don’t trust China one bit. This stalls upcoming tariffs, but until it’s signed it’s still just a theory. Nevertheless, it’s a positive sign and a step in the right direction towards bringing back free trade as our national economic mantra.
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JD Rucker – EIC