Chinese officials and executives have been roaming the farmland of Iowa and doing what might
appeal to US President Donald Trump most: deals.
Contracts signed— for the import of 12.5 million tons of US soybeans and tons of beef — can be seen as another result of the renewed economic-diplomacy push started by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their April meeting in Florida.
Talks are yielding progress: China is buying American beef again after a 14-year ban, approving more biotech products, and increasing US natural gas imports. But if the nations are to make any meaningful dent in
the $347 billion US deficit that’s the object of Trump’s ire, they may have to keep negotiating beyond the modest agreements already signed.
“Deals such as the soybeans definitely create favorable conditions for negotiations,” said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at Bank of China’s Institute of International Finance in Beijing. “Trump is a businessman and loves making deals. These will give Trump something he can announce at home. But ultimately it’ll take a very long time to resolve the trade imbalance.”
The two nations have been working on “very major trade components,” Trump said at a press conference in Paris this week. But there still may be hiccups in the relationship: he has threatened tariffs or quotas on steel imports, which may hurt China and other nations.