Ag Secretary Soothes Fears Over Canceled China Visit

President Donald Trump wasn’t too happy to hear about China’s canceled farm visits, because it turns out it was at the request of his administration. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the timing wasn’t right, but the visits will be rescheduled. Farm visit or not the Secretary Of Agriculture shares his thoughts on the current pulse with China.

Secretary Sonny Perdue says more China ag purchase are more likely driven by the country’s African Swine Fever epidemic than a change of heart.

“I’d love to think it was a goodwill gesture, but they did the gesture because they needed it, had they not needed it would they have done it, I don’t know about that.”

Perdue says the President will be looking for a serious reformation of Chinese practices before a deal can be reached—a demand he says that extends to ag markets. He sought to soothe fears around the cancellation of a trip that would take Chinese negotiators to U.S. farms.

“I imagine these kinds of timings and trips, it could have been that they needed to be back in China, I don’t have any negative aspect as to why those were canceled. I don’t have any information on anything that happened or may have happened that would have caused that, I think it’s probably scheduling issues.”

Other officials say the talks were foundational but without commitments. While negotiators plan for a new round of talks in October, farmers bringing in the 2019 crop are concerned about the current slow pace of negotiations. As farmers across the country continue bringing it what USDA is predicting will be the 6th largest soybean and corn harvest on record, where that crop will eventually end up remains to be seen.

Agricensus reports Chinese private and state-owned crushers bought a large amount of U.S. soybeans on Monday. During a meeting, the government said it would exempt taxes on 4th quarter shipments for 1.5-1.6 million metric tons of imports.

Report By: Sarah Mock