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Top Ag Negotiator Tones Down Approach to Phase One Trade Deal

The United States’ top agricultural negotiator appears to have toned down his rhetoric on the Phase One Trade Deal between the U.S. and China.

During a speech given to the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Gregg Doud didn’t talk about the binding nature of the deal, its enforcement mechanisms, or the ability to reimpose tariffs.

When asked about the sanctions for non-compliance, he stressed the fact that the deal is a two-year commitment. Investing.com reported the speech was in sharp contrast to some other appearances by the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agricultural negotiator.

At the USDA’s annual forum back in February, he said both nations would meet every month to discuss progress, while also noting that a lack of compliance could allow each of the nations to impose tariffs equivalent to the size of the damage.

During his appearance with USSEC, he said, “Everyone wants to measure month to month, how we are doing there. At least from my perspective, we have to give this some time.”

American farm exports to China have been running behind the pace needed to reach the $36.5 billion commitment this year. Shipments for the first six months of 2020 totaled just 23 percent of the overall target.