Despite Disputes U.S. agriculture remains a key economic link with China

China ramped up purchases of American goods in September, but it still remains far from the target set under the Phase One Trade Deal with the U.S.

American Farm Bureau’s Senior Congressional Director says that despite disputes over Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the south China Sea, agriculture remains a key economic link with China.

According to Dave Salmonsen, “You think of how agriculture went from only counting, like in 2000, in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year of sales to China, and now is where it is. So, I think it can help to a more constructive, hopefully, day-to-day working environment. Of course, there’s these other political and strategic issues, but countries’ need for food, fiber, and other products will continue, and certainly, U.S. agriculture hopes to continue to be a good supplier to China.”

So far, China has met 38 percent of the $173 billion dollar target. The USDA says that it is pleased with what China is doing as far as trying to meet the Phase One commitment.

USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney states, “Things have been going relatively well in China and we’re very grateful that they are stepping up to honor as much as they can of the Phase One Agreement, and the pork in this case is a big part of that.”

USDA reports U.S. sales for pork to China are up 327 percent compared to last year and that is with the 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork.