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US and China aiming for deal on agri goods and tariffs

By Philip Smith

Trade in US agricultural goods could return to pre-dispute levels

US and Chinese trade officials are expected to discuss China buying more US farm products in return for the US cancelling key tariffs.

Top officials will talk by telephone on Friday, October 25, according to Reuters. It’s the first tangible move in the Phase 1 trade agreement announced by US President Donald Trump this month. He and China’s President Xi Jinping aim to sign an agreement to ease the 16-month trade war next month in Chile.

Trade in agricultural goods could return to pre-dispute levels by next year’s US elections, according to Bloomberg. The farming belt is seen as one of Mr Trump’s main constituencies.

Top officials will discuss the agri-tariff plan in which Beijing is expected to ask Washington to drop tariffs on $156bn (£122bn, €140bn) of Chinese goods. These would include mobile phones, laptop computers and toys.

Beijing also is likely to seek removal of tariffs imposed last month on about $125bn of other Chinese goods.

In return Beijing would exempt some US agricultural products from tariffs, including soybeans, wheat and corn.

Buyers would be exempt from extra tariffs for future buying. They would also get returns for tariffs they paid in previous purchases of the listed products.

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