Report: China Exempts Some U.S. Farm Products From Tariffs

China has reportedly exempted some U.S. agricultural products from tariffs, signaling Washington and Beijing may be closer to reaching a trade deal.

Chinese officials announce soybeans and pork will be unaffected by Beijing’s latest round of retaliatory tariffs, signaling ongoing trade tension could be thawing.

According to the Associated Press, Chinese officials made that announcement Friday saying, “[China] supports domestic companies in purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce.”

The purchase of U.S. farm products has been a point of contention between Beijing and Washington since China imposed 25% tariffs on various agricultural products last year.

This announcement comes one day after President Trump tweeted China would likely be expanding its imports of U.S. agricultural products, a move the Trump administration has been pushing continuously during the trade war.

According to a Reuters report, Chinese officials had started to inquire about pricing to buy large amounts of agricultural products from the United States. 

The spokesperson for the Chinese Commerce Ministry weighed in on the progress earlier this week saying, “[China] hopes both sides would continue to meet each other half way and adopt concrete actions to create favorable conditions for negotiations.”

The spokesperson went on to say China may purchase pork and soybeans despite usually being subject to steep tariffs.

Earlier this week, President Trump also decided to delay a tariff spike previously scheduled for October 1, to October 15, signaling further both sides may be closer to reaching a deal.

Meanwhile, President Trump has repeatedly warned Beijing saying he would be tougher on the Chinese if the trade talks continue into his second term as President of the United States. 

The president issued that warning via twitter saying, “Think what happens to China when I win. Deal would get MUCH TOUGHER! In the meantime, China’s Supply Chain will crumble and businesses, jobs and money will be gone!”

Just this year, pork exports to China have climbed over 50% since January despite steep tariffs. 

Both U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet in the coming weeks for high-level trade talks in Washington.

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