In this file:
· China welcomes Donald Trump’s ‘goodwill’ act of postponing US tariff increase until after National Day
· China should continue using food imports as chip in US trade talks, says former leading agriculture negotiator
China welcomes Donald Trump’s ‘goodwill’ act of postponing US tariff increase until after National Day
o The American president confirmed a planned increase in tariffs from 25 per cent to 30 per cent on US$250 billion of Chinese goods will be delayed to October 15
o The new levies were expected to take effect from October 1, but will now come before expected face-to-face trade talks in Washington
Orange Wang, South China Morning Post (China)
12 Sep, 2019
China welcomed US President Donald Trump’s decision to postpone a planned tariff increase on Chinese products from October 1 to October 15, calling it an act of “goodwill”.
On Wednesday, Trump confirmed he will delay a planned increase in tariffs from 25 per cent to 30 per cent on US$250 billion of Chinese goods at the request of Vice-Premier Liu He to avoid escalating trade tensions ahead China’s National Day on October 1, which is also the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Gao Feng, China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman, also told at a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday that Chinese buyers have already started to make enquiries about the prices of US farm products, including soybeans and pork, although he did not elaborate on the timing or size of any intended purchases.
“At the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People's Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will, to move the increased Tariffs on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods (25% to 30%), from October 1st to October 15th,” read Trump’s tweet.
Trump’s announcement came a day after Beijing unveiled a list of 16 types of products that will be exempt from the first round of China’s additional retaliatory tariffs on US imports, as the two sides prepare for another round of high-level trade negotiations early next month.
Gao did not confirm the specific date of the talks, although they are widely expected to take place before October 15, leaving room for a further postponement or even a cancelling of some of the tariffs.
Before the meeting in Washington, Gao said there will be a deputy level meeting to lay the ground work for the talks between Liu and his US counterparts led by US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin...
China should continue using food imports as chip in US trade talks, says former leading agriculture negotiator
o Cheng Guoqiang, a professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, says China should avoid over reliance on imports and rely mainly on domestic supplies to meet demand
o American President Donald Trump has repeatedly charged that China has not lived up to its promises to buy large quantities of US farm products
Orange Wang, South China Morning Post (China)
11 Sep, 2019
China should diversify its imports to secure the food supply for its 1.4 billion people, but should continue to use purchases of US farm products as a “countermeasure” in the trade negotiations, according to a former leading agriculture negotiator.
Cheng Guoqiang, who was part of China’s agriculture negotiations team that led to the country joining the World Organisation in 2001, joins a chorus of voices who say that Beijing should never compromise on food security in trade talks with Washington.
Cheng, who helped draft agriculture policy for China’s top leadership until 2009, said that the trade war has “raised new challenges for China’s economic security, including food supply security”.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly charged that China has not lived up to its promises to buy large quantities of US farm products, while China has responded that American tariffs have made the price of US farm products uncompetitive for Chinese buyers.
“We still have to have this countermeasure, but we don’t need to say too much about it,” added Cheng, who is a professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, on the sidelines of a corn industry conference in the northern Chinese port city of Dalian on Wednesday.
China’s top trade envoys led by Vice-Premier Liu He are expected to visit Washington for trade talks early next month. As part of the discussions, China has offered to buy American products in exchange for a delay in a series of US tariffs and easing of a supply ban against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
A feasible strategy going forward is for China to rely mainly on domestic supplies to meet demand, while supplementing the supply with imports but without relying on a few main sources, said Cheng.
Between January and July, China’s agricultural imports increased by 4.4 per cent, compared to a year earlier, to US$84.04 billion.
“China must have a globalised food and agriculture strategy. Modernising the food safety management of the country is the basic pillar for us in coping with or controlling changes,” said Cheng.
“The US-China trade frictions, US and European subsidies and other global political events have deeply influenced global agricultural trade in the last two decades.
“The Asian [agriculture] market propped up by China will be the core of [global] trade picture changes in the next three decades or even longer term.”
Beijing has stepped increased its efforts to buy farm goods from non-US suppliers, and in the latest move, China has agreed to purchase soybean meal from Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of the animal feed, after two decades of talks.
China has also granted permission for importers to buy soybeans from Russia, although available supply could be very limited compared to China’s demand. China is also looking to import more meat from countries including Denmark and Brazil as pork prices rise following the outbreak of African swine fever hit supplies...