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Chinese Ag Purchases Becoming a Sticking Point in Negotiations

President Donald Trump has said China will commit to buying up to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural products as part of a Phase One trade agreement between the countries.

However, Reuters says that amount is becoming a sticking point in the negotiations. That $50 billion is more than double the amount of U.S. ag commodities that China purchased during the year before the trade war began.

People who’ve been briefed on the negotiations say that U.S. officials are continuing to push for that amount in talks, while Beijing doesn’t want to commit to purchasing that number of products in a certain time frame.

China would like its buyers to be able to buy based on market conditions. An official of a Chinese state-owned company says China “doesn’t want to buy a lot of products that people here don’t need or something during a time when it’s not in demand.

If a lot of U.S. products come into China all at once, the domestic market might not be able to digest them.”

As an example, that same official points out that China wouldn’t be able to use large amounts of U.S. soybeans because of the African Swine Fever virus that’s decimated their herds.