BEIJING, CHINA — China’s northern border eases its restrictions on soybean imports to help shipments from Kazakhstan, Russia and possibly Ukraine, according Reuters.

As trade discussions between the United States and China continue, China is searching for other options to expand its import options.

Citing China’s Commerce Ministry, Reuters reported soybean importers using checkpoints in Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang can utilize one import license to clear cargo up to six times.

Sources told Reuters the policy is working toward soybean trade with Russia even though volume of shipments are “too small.”

This is China’s most recent change to its import policy. In late December, the country approved the import of new GMO soybeans from the United States. The approval is in line with China and the United States working to end trade issues.

The United States and China have been in an ongoing trade dispute since China raised import tariffs by 25% on U.S. soybeans in July 2018 in retaliation for U.S. duties on Chinese goods.

In mid-December 2019 the two countries agreed upon a preliminary trade agreement to bring an end to trade issues.

In a tweet on Dec. 31, 2019, Trump said, “I will be signing our very large and comprehensive phase one trade deal with China on Jan. 15. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on phase two!”

If the signing is achieved it could lead to lessening tariffs between the United States and China and benefit trade, including U.S. agriculture exports.