President Donald Trump and leaders in China have reached agreement on a “phase one” trade deal that stipulates China buy $200 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over the next two years—a total that would include the previous U.S. demand that China buy between $40 billion and $50 billion worth of American farm goods.
The deal contains provisions that could give a leg up to farmers after a particularly tough year. Those include China giving up restrictions on growth hormones for beef and easing an approval process for genetically modified crops. Before the tariff war, the value of U.S agricultural exports to China in 2017 reached almost $20 billion. In 2018, that number dipped to $9.3 billion.
The agreement was announced Friday, two days before the U.S. was scheduled to introduce a new round of 15 percent tariffs that would have targeted $160 billion worth of Chinese imports. Trump did not enact those tariffs. He is also expected to reduce duties on roughly $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, including many consumer items.
The Corn Refiners Association was quick to praise the news, calling it a “welcome sign of progress.”