China Keeps Grain Import Quotas Unchanged Despite Promise to Buy More American, Report Says

Farmer walks through his soy fields in Harvard, Illinois. Nova Safo | AFP | Getty Images

China remains vague on how much the country will increase purchases of U.S. farm goods, considered a critical part of a trade agreement with Washington.

Han Jun, vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, confirmed to Chinese financial news site Caixin that import quotas for wheat, corn and rice will not increase.

“These are global quotas. We will not adjust them just for one country,” Han told Caixin, according to a CNBC translation of his Chinese-language quotes in an article published Tuesday.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump‘s administration said it reached a “phase one” trade agreement with Beijing, in which China agreed to make “substantial purchases” of U.S. manufacturing, agricultural and energy products, along with services. Trump added that the Chinese would buy $50 billion in agricultural purchases “pretty soon.”

Chinese officials have not confirmed an exact figure. Some analysts also doubt whether such a large amount could be reached, although China has been increasing its purchases of U.S. soybeans.

The two countries are expected to sign a phase one trade deal next week in Washington, D.C.

The Chinese agriculture ministry did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Read the full Caixin article here.

Author: Evelyn Cheng

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