Trump says China broke promise to buy American farm goods

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

China's export growth slowed in June and imports shrank more than expected, as the continuing trade war with the US and a global slowdown hurt trade.

Customs data on Friday showed China's global exports sank 1.3% while imports fell 7.3%. U.S.

At that time, Trump said the USA agreed to hold off the third round of tariffs on billions of Chinese goods while China committed to purchasing more farm products. Beijing's tariffs war with its top trading partner country has not helped, with imports from the United States down almost 30 percent in the first half of the year.

Trade envoys talked by phone Tuesday in their first contact since Trump and Xi met in Japan, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

Trump accused Beijing on Thursday of backsliding on promises to buy more American farm goods. Both sides will continue these talks as appropriate, the official said, without offering more details on the next steps.

"Macroeconomic indicators of growth, employment and consumer prices are all in normal ranges", said Liu, the top economic aide to President Xi Jinping and China's top negotiator in trade talks with the Trump administration, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency.

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China's June exports are expected to have declined 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 34 economists in a Reuters poll, compared with a 1.1% gain in May.

Trump has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods and has pledged only to accept a deal with Beijing that includes structural reforms to the way China does business.

China's stance so far suggests the purchase of agricultural products are part a larger deal under discussion, said He Weiwen, who previously served as a commercial attache at the Chinese consulates in NY and San Francisco and is now a senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing.

China bought 127,800 metric tons of U.S. soybeans last week, the equivalent of about two cargoes and a 79 per cent reduction from the previous week.

But data released on Thursday (July 11) by the US Department of Agriculture indicate that China actually slowed its purchases of American agriculture products following the G-20 meeting. 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.

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