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Sec. Perdue Optimistic About China Reaching Phase One Targets

Sec. Perdue during a roundtable discussion at Bednarski Farms in Tuscola Co. Photo: Michigan Farm Bureau

On Friday, Sec. Sonny Perdue made a couple stops in the Mitten, one of those at Michigan Farm Bureau president Carl Bednarski’s farm.

That same day, the USDA and USTR released a report highlighting the U.S.-China Phase One trade agreement. The report shows that China has purchased more than $23 billion in U.S. ag products, about 70 percent of its target.

“We believe China’s serious about following up on their Phase One agreements,” said Perdue. “As an encouragement, there were about 57 different items we listed that were sanitary/phytosanitary problems, and we resolved 50 of those 57. [That] tells me they are preparing and serious about living up to that.”

Perdue is still expressing some skepticism on if China will reach its 2020 target because of the pandemic and relationships with Hong Kong.

“The last two months, they have really been stepping up, and the exports are accelerating exponentially from beans and corn as well as other things,” he said.

Chinese imports of U.S. ag products are up more than 44 percent in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to 2019. There’s also a record amount of corn and soybean sales on the books. Perdue said those sales are promising.

“We’re happy right now, and I think it’s going to be good,” he said. “You see that reflected in prices. Soybeans over $10.70, corn at $4.14, and wheat at $6. We haven’t seen those numbers in a while.”