Proof may come about in the coming days or so backing up a claim made by President Donald Trump over the weekend, that China has resumed buying tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. agricultural goods.
So far, however, the evidence to back that claim has been lacking.
As part of a “phase one” deal between China and the U.S., previously reported on at HillReporter.com, the two countries came to a temporary “truce” in the trade wars. As part of the proposed deal, Washington agreed to hold of on raising tariffs this week, while Beijing agreed to purchase agricultural products from the U.S., in addition to limiting the ways it manipulates its currency.
Trump lauded the deal over the weekend, but by Monday it was unclear whether the deal was signed off yet by China. President Xi Jinping had yet to give his approval of the deal, and there were reports that China wanted to iron out some other details of the agreement before moving forward on it.
That didn’t stop Trump from tweeting that China was already buying farm goods.
CHINA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AGRICULTURAL PURCHASES FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS & RANCHERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
“CHINA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AGRICULTURAL PURCHASES FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS & RANCHERS!” Trump wrote in all capital letters in a Tweet.
In another tweet on Sunday, Trump again suggested that China would start buying goods from the U.S. right away. “My deal with China is that they will IMMEDIATELY start buying very large quantities of our Agricultural Product, not wait until the deal is signed over the next 3 or 4 weeks,” Trump said, per reporting from NBC News.
The White House has suggested that China would buy between $40 and $50 billion in agricultural exports from the U.S., a figure that has created skepticism among some experts. Over the past 20 years, for example, China has never purchased more than $30 billion over a single year in agrigultural goods from the United States.
“I think it’s a meaningless big number, thrown out to get headlines, and won’t happen,” Darin Friedrichs, an Asia commodity analyst, told Reuters.