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Updates on China Trade and USMCA

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The U.S. and China will roll back tariffs if they strike a preliminary deal, a move requested by China before signing a phase one trade agreement. The signing of the agreement may be now delayed until next month, but the two sides continue to wrap up the talks, according to the South China Morning Post.

A spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry says, “top negotiators have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving issues of core concerns” over the last two weeks.

China’s Agriculture Ministry announced it will consider removing restrictions on the import of U.S. poultry. China says the U.S. and China should remove tariffs simultaneously, as part of reaching the agreement.

If reached, the agreement would be welcome news to U.S. agriculture, as it’s thought to include $40-50 billion of U.S. ag exports to China over the next two years. U.S. agricultural exports to China dropped roughly $10 billion annually, half the usual amount since the trade war began.

A delegation of U.S. House Democrats this week told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement negotiations are nearly complete. Led by Representative Richard Neal, the group met with Trudeau and other top officials from Canada.

Neal says of the talks, “Significant progress is being achieved” on the agreement.

Trudeau says the group talked about jobs and opportunities USCMA will create and how they will “work together to keep strengthening the long-standing relationship between Canada and the United States.”

Few U.S. legislative days remain to pass the agreement in 2019, with Congress mired by the House impeachment inquiry and the need to quickly pass spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week appeared optimistic the White House and her chamber could reach an agreement to pass USMCA. However, she suggested the process may linger into 2020.

Neal says House Democrats continue to engage in productive discussions with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to “achieve their priorities” in the agreement.

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