Is China still the top ag trading partner for the U.S.?
The U.S. and Taiwan are expected to begin the first round of trade negotiations early this Fall after they reached an agreement on the negotiating mandate.
When it comes to trade relations in Asia, China continues to be the top ag trading partner for the U.S. despite new tensions over Taiwan, but American Farm Bureau‘s Dave Salmonsen says the future remains uncertain, but China’s importance as a U.S. ag trading partner cannot be understated.
“We were at about 33 billion in ag exports to China last year -- obviously, our number one destination,” said Salmonsen.
But Salmonsen also says the U.S. strategic concerns over China’s threats to Taiwan could push the White House closer to a trade deal with Taipei.
“Depending on how things develop over the next several months, may drive that, maybe that would be the first one,” Salmonsen said.
So far, the White House plans only framework talks with Taiwan, which it excluded from its Indo-Pacific economic framework. In the meantime, conversations continue with China.
“The Phase I commitments on standards, those continue. There has been dialogue, there still needs to be more work, there, we want that to continue. And, of course, we have the tariff issues that were put on. China has waived a lot of the tariffs in order to keep the trade going, help this rebound—but they still exist,” said Salmonsen.
While he says AFBF hopes for continued strong agricultural trade and even growth with China, strong external pressures now complicate that relationship.