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Implications of China trade deal for American farmers still unclear

President Donald Trump today announced the United States had reached a deal with China to put the brakes on a trade dispute between the two countries.

18 October 2019, at 1:55pm

The United States will delay additional tariffs on Chinese imports and, in exchange, China has agreed to what are thus far unspecified changes to intellectual property policies and currency guidelines. The country will also reportedly import between $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States over an unspecified period of time.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the news:

“While we are glad to see a détente in this seemingly endless trade war, the tangible benefits to American family farmers and ranchers are unclear.

“There are many questions that still need to be answered: What will these agreed to policy reforms look like? How will they be enforced? And over what time frame will the $50 billion of agricultural purchases - an amount that is double our peak annual farm exports to China - take place?

“Regardless of the answers to these questions, this deal should not be the end of our efforts to address China’s transgressions. Their unfair and manipulative trade practices are clearly still a problem that need to be fixed through substantive and meaningful reforms. Moving forward, the administration should work with our friends and allies to determine what those reforms should look like.”