Pace of US Trade With China Exceeds Last Year; Phase One End In Sight

The Phase One Trade Deal between China and the U.S. comes to an end in early 2022. Veronica Nigh, senior economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, says this year’s numbers are better in 2021 than at the same time last year.

“Thus far in 2021, which is data from January through November, we’ve exported 30 billion dollars to China. That’s up 33 percent compared to the same time period in 2020, when we had sold 22 and a half billion dollars.”

Nigh isn’t sure that even the faster buying pace will get China to its purchasing commitments this year.

“The Phase One goal for 2021 is 40.4 billion dollars; at 30 billion dollars, China is relatively close. In December 2020, China bought about 4 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. ag products. Those of you doing the math: they’re about 10 billion short. So far, if the pattern holds, China’s going to be behind in their purchase commitments for 2021.”

Nigh says the relationship between the U.S. and China is “challenging”.

“There’s a lot of issues outside of agricultural trade that are significant, a lot of geopolitical issues, which means that though U.S. agriculture trade is incredibly important, you have to deal with a lot of significant political issues before you can start talking about U.S. ag trade. The additional communication and meetings between our government can only be helpful, however. The tariffs continue, but the purchase agreement is over at the end of 2021. That makes the relationship between U.S. and China all the more complicated going into 2022.”

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