China has been reluctant to commit to the farm purchases Trump touted

farmers trump

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • The White House said in mid-October that China would buy as much as $50 billion worth of US farm products.
  • But that has not yet been confirmed by the second-largest economy.
  • That quota would amount to more than double the amount China imported in 2017.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

More than a month after President Donald Trump announced an interim trade agreement with China, the agricultural terms he touted have not yet been confirmed.

The White House said in mid-October that China would buy as much as $50 billion worth of US farm products amid broader efforts to defuse a 19-month economic dispute. But China has pushed back against including a numerical commitment in the text of the pact, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Advertisement

A $50 billion quota would be more than double the amount that country imported in 2017. Chinese officials have privately warned against an influx of that size, according to Reuters.

When asked to confirm those figures last month, the Chinese embassy in Washington referred Business Insider to public comments in which a spokesperson said there would be an unspecified amount of agricultural purchases. The embassy did not offer an update Wednesday afternoon.

The White House and the Office of the US Trade Representative did not respond to emails requesting comment.
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Doubts have emerged about whether the first part of a trade agreement would be signed before the end of the year. Trump denied a claim from China last week that the US had agreed to lift a portion of the tariffs that have been levied on thousands of products.

On Tuesday, Trump said the two sides had made progress but warned he would increase punitive duties if an agreement could not be reached. Separate tariff increases are still scheduled to take effect December 15. "I tell it to everybody: If we don't make a deal, we're going to substantially raise those tariffs," he said. "They're going to be raised very substantially."Advertisement

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