Ag Needs Momentum In China Trade Talks

Trade talks between the U.S. and China in Washington D.C. are bringing a renewed hope of progress.

To Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation senior congressional relations director, the talks offer some encouragement.

“We’re at a point where tariffs have continually escalated since basically Spring 2018, and I think both sides want to see if they can find a way out of this,” he said. “We hope they work hard to a conclusion.”

Negotiators are mulling a large list of issues—from forced technology transfer to intellectually property protection, cyber security to ag trade. According to Salmonsen, the escalating tariffs caused China to limit their ag imports from the U.S.

“A couple years ago, we were selling over $20 billion of U.S. ag products to China, and this year we’re expected to sell $7 billion,” he said. “China really does not want to talk bigger issues—they want to focus on tariffs. They have different expectations of these talks.”

U.S. agriculture needs momentum in the talks to get the tariffs removed from ag products, said Salmonsen.

In a tweet, President Trump announced he will meet with the Vice Premier Friday in the White House.

Another round of tariffs are set to hit China next week. There is no official word yet on if those tariffs will go into effect with trade talks in motion.

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