WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Chinese officials have committed to purchase 10 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States, according to a Feb. 22 tweet by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
The tweet shared on social media stated, “BREAKING: In Oval Office meeting today, the Chinese committed to buy an additional 10 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans. Hats off to @POTUS for bringing China to the table. Strategy is working. Show of good faith by the Chinese. Also indications of more good news to come.”
In early February, U.S. President Donald Trump said China was expected to purchase 5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. With both commitments this would be a total of 15 million tonnes of soybeans for China to purchase from the United States.
In July 2018, Trump announced 25% tariffs on various Chinese products. China responded with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including soybeans.
In early December, Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to suspend further tariff increases before March 1, but it was noted if they could not reach a deal by that date, the United States threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.
On Feb 5. during the State of the Union Address, Trump commented on the United States’ trade relationship with China. Trump said his administration is making it a point to make it clear to China “that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.”
“Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars a month from a country that never gave us a dime,” Trump said. “But I don’t blame China for taking advantage of us — I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen. I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.”
Prior to the trade war, China was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, purchasing 30 million to 35 million tonnes per year.