Politico is reporting that China just gave Trump a big win in the trade department: “In win for Trump, Beijing makes major U.S. soybean purchase”:
China purchased 1.13 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans this week, offering a sign that the two countries are beginning to make progress in alleviating trade tensions.
The Department of Agriculture on Thursday reported the purchase, which historical data show is the ninth-largest daily sale of U.S. soybeans ever.
The move comes less than two weeks after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and agreed to a 90-day detente in their trade war as they worked out larger issues. As part of that truce, China said it would begin immediately buying U.S. agricultural products, purchases of which had slowed significantly since trade tensions ramped up between the two economies earlier this year.
The purchase, which is equal to about 41 million bushels, will make up only a fraction of the total soybeans typically sold to China in a normal year.
Including the purchase, the U.S. has sold roughly 55 million bushels to China in this marketing year, which began Sept. 1. That represents a 91 percent drop from the more than 600 million bushels sold to China at the same point last year, said John Newton, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to get anywhere near what China typically buys in a normal year,” Newton said. “But this is a step in the right direction.”
After Trump’s “tariff man” tweet he’s been looking for any good news he can find to keep the stock market happy.
While this is a step in the right direction toward getting back what China used to purchase, it’s also a step in the right direction to negotiating a deal that will end the trade war.
But all of that remains to be seen. Meanwhile, I’m sure Trump will be celebrating this on Twitter before too long.