Trump hits out at China over slowing agricultural purchases

13 July, 2019, 14:10 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Donald Trump

China also directed importers to find non-U.S. suppliers.

China's imports and exports both fell in June, official data showed Friday, as weak demand at home and overseas hit trade in the world's second largest economy.

China's soybean imports fell 11.5 per cent in June from May, customs data showed on Friday, as the Sino-US trade war and an outbreak of deadly African swine fever curb demand.

Xi Jinping's top trade negotiator spoke with his US counterparts on Tuesday (July 9), in the first talks since the G20 summit truce agreed with US President Donald Trump. "We expect exports to continue to be weak for the rest of the year, but probably not as bad as in June", due to the expectation that "China's infrastructure investment will grow faster in the second half as more of the policy support comes through".

According to Reuters, ANZ analysts noted that Trump's comments about China's alleged failure to live up to its commitments on trade with the USA may not be a huge move compared to previous statements but the us president may be delivering a warning.

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On Thursday (July 11), Trump accused China of "letting us down" by not promptly buying more U.S. farm products.

"It seems the two sides are arm-wrestling about the basis on which they'll resume talks, as well as when and where", said Zhou Xiaoming, a former commerce ministry official and diplomat.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, drawing retaliatory sanctions from Beijing on $110 billion in U.S. products. Analysts polled by Bloomberg News had forecast exports to dip 1.4 percent and imports to fall 4.6 percent.

A date for face-to-face talks was not agreed during the call, although trade tensions between China and the U.S. remain high, given there has been little progress to resolve the conflict since the ceasefire was agreed. Mistrust between Washington and Beijing runs high. Altogether the two giants have slapped each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade, damaging manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific. On Thursday Trump raised eyebrows with a tweet accusing China of not fulfilling a pledge to buy more agricultural goods, adding: "Hopefully they will start soon!"

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