China said Thursday it has purchased a “considerable” amount of U.S. soybeans and pork ahead of the next round of trade talks in Washington.
Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference that the U.S. and China are maintaining “close communication” in preparation for the negotiations next month. He confirmed China has resumed its purchase of American farm goods and said the tariffs on those orders will be exempted.
“China’s stance has always been consistent and clear, hoping the U.S. side will meet China half way,” Gao said.
China made up $5.9 billion in U.S. farm product exports in 2018, according to the U.S. Census. It’s the world’s top buyer of soybeans and had purchased roughly 60% of U.S. soybean exports last year.
Tensions between the U.S. and China seem to have eased ahead of the planned trade talks in October as President Donald Trump granted tariff exemptions to many Chinese products and China has said it will exempt U.S. agricultural products and other 16 types of U.S. goods from additional tariffs.
Trump said Wednesday that a U.S.-China trade deal could arrive sooner than expected. He made the comment hours after the release of a once-secret summary of his telephone conversation with Ukraine’s president amid a Democratic impeachment inquiry.