Truce called in U.S.-China trade war

Legislative Watch: Truce called as U.S., China renew trade talks; EU signs more free-trade agreements; July 4 cookout costs steady.

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

July 5, 2019

2 Min Read
U.S. China trade war illustration
Getty Images/iStockphoto

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to a truce in the trade war as the two countries renew trade talks.

Trump says he is putting on hold additional percent tariffs he had threatened on $300 billion of Chinese goods and was easing the earlier restrictions placed on tech company Huawei. He also says that China had agreed to purchase additional agricultural products while the negotiations continue. However, there is no list of which products China agreed to purchase though it is assumed that pork, soybeans and ethanol are likely commodities.

There is no deadline on the trade negotiations and Trump has said he is in no hurry.

EU signs more free trade agreements
The European Union has signed free trade agreements with Vietnam and Mercosur.

Vietnam: The agreement calls for the EU to end 85% of its tariffs on Vietnamese products while cutting the rest over a seven-year period. Vietnam will end 49% of its tariffs on EU goods with the remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years.

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with a population of 95 million.

Mercosur: After 20 years of negotiations, the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) have signed a free trade agreement which will remove tariffs on more than 90% of goods sold between the two trading blocs over the next 10-15 years.

Mercosur countries will receive greater access to the EU market for agricultural products especially beef, ethanol, sugar and coffee. A 99,000-metric-ton quota was established for beef from Mercosur countries to enter the EU at 7.5% duty. The quota will be phased in over five years.

The EU will have greater access to the Mercosur countries for cars, car parts, machinery and chemicals.

The agreement needs to be ratified by the EU and Mercosur.

July 4 cookout costs
As millions of us celebrated yesterday, the cost of a July 4 cookout remains steady compared to last year. This is according to the annual survey done by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

According to the AFBF, a cookout for a party of 10 cost $52.80, or $5.28 per person. This was an increase of 11 cents per person compared to last year. The cookout includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spareribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and watermelon.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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