President Trump touted in a tweet on Monday China’s promise to buy more US agricultural products following trade talks between the two countries, calling it a good deal for American farmers.
“China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!,” the president posted on his account, one of three tweets about China.
In another tweet, he questioned why former President Barack Obama failed to take action against China for the trade imbalance and suggested that he would work with Senate Democrats on developing fair trade policies.
A third tweet said: “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time. ”
About two hours later, he reiterated his earlier tweet that American farmers would benefit.
“Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce,” Trump said.
The final tweet said: “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time. ”
In the joint US-China statement issued Saturday, China pledged to “significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services.”
“This will help support growth and employment in the United States. Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports. The United States will send a team to China to work out the details,” it said.
The statement followed two days of talks involving Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
On Sunday, Mnuchin said the US was putting a trade war with China on hold by not imposing major tariffs after the concessions by Beijing.
“We’re putting the trade war on hold. So right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” But Mnuchin and Lighthizer said that could change if China doesn’t follow through on its commitments.
“As this process continues, the United States may use all of its legal tools to protect our technology through tariffs, investment restrictions and export regulations,” Lighthizer said in a statement.
Trump during the presidential campaign railed about how China’s trade policies hurt American business, and his administration has been trying to get Beijing to take steps to lower its trade deficit with the US by at least $200 billion by the end of 2020.
China agreed to the same deal we had before, with no commitment to buy a specific amount of any goods, and their “concession” was to buy the same products it was going to buy anyway.
Trump claimed he could easily win a trade war, yet got nothing he wanted, the trade gap hasn’t shrunk, and we just spent months harming US agriculture so we can be back to where we were before.