China Halts Some Purchases of U.S. Ag Products

China is halting imports of some U.S. agricultural products through state-run agricultural companies. The move comes as a response to tensions between the U.S. and China regarding Hong Kong. According to Bloomberg News state-owned traders Cofco and Sinograin were ordered to suspend purchases. The action is the latest by China, which puts a trade agreement full of wins for U.S. agriculture in jeopardy.

Last week, President Trump threatened to punish China for its relations with Hong Kong. China responded by pausing purchases of U.S. ag products, including recent inquiries to purchase U.S. soybeans.

A China Foreign Affairs spokesperson says of Trump’s comments, “the measures announced gravely interfere with China’s internal affairs and undermine bilateral relations and will be detrimental to both sides.” However, the retaliation is likely temporary, as China will need more soybeans and pork, among other products.

China was increasing purchases of U.S. ag products as the nation reopens following the coronavirus pandemic, but at a slower than expected pace to fulfill the Phase One trade agreement.

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