WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Lighthizer announced that after months of negotiations and work, an agreement in principle has been reached between the U.S. and China on trade.
China held a press conference this morning and confirmed that it will increase agricultural purchases “by a notable margin,” including purchases of U.S.-grown rice, wheat, and corn.
The deal will roll back some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and will not implement the additional round of tariffs on Chinese products that was scheduled to effect December 15. USTR indicated that June 2019 tariffs on Chinese products, including rice being imported to the U.S., would remain in effect. USTR shared that the deal also requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.
“Today’s announcement is positive news for U.S. farmers and ranchers, especially with a commitment by China to purchase U.S.-grown rice in addition to other commodities,” said Dow Brantley, Arkansas rice farmer and USA Rice’s representative on the federal Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee, primarily responsible for providing feedback to USDA and USTR on trade agreements. “USA Rice is pleased to hear that rice will be part of China’s purchases and we look forward to more closely reviewing the details once the written agreement is made public.”
USTR anticipates an early January signing of the agreement once details are laid out in writing and formally cleared by both sides.