The announcement came from Trump’s twitter account after revealing that China had allegedly agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs on US cars, which is currently set at 40%.
“Farmers will be a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China. They intend to start purchasing agricultural products immediately. We make the finest and cleanest product in the world, and that is what China wants,” said Trump’s tweet.
“President Xi and I have a very strong and personal relationship. He and I are the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond, between our two great nations.”
The tweet was later confirmed in an official White House statement:
“On trade, President Trump has agreed that on 1 January 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. China will agree to purchase a not-yet-agreed-upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural products from our farmers immediately.”
The announcement is likely to be a relief for US farmers after a turbulent year and would fulfil the President’s commitment to securing the future for the farming industry.
Earlier this year, Trump pioneered a short-term solution alongside the US Department of Agriculture by injecting a $12bn relief fund for agricultural producers affected by retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico, Canada, Russia and China.
US agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue also claimed that Trump would not tolerate China to “bully” US farmers and would not let US agriculture bear the brunt of China’s “retaliatory tactics”.
During the course of the year, the US pork industry has been among the worst affected after pig meat exporters had to pay additional retaliatory 25% duties on products sold to mainland China, responding to the US’ imposition of 25% and 10% duties on imported steel and aluminium.