China Asked State Buyers to Halt U.S. Agriculture Imports

(Bloomberg) — The Chinese government has asked its state-owned enterprises to suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products after President Donald Trump ratcheted up trade tensions with the Asian nation last week, people familiar with the situation said.

China’s state-run agricultural firms have now stopped buying American farm goods, and are waiting to see how trade talks progress, the people said, declining to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media. China’s commerce ministry didn’t respond to a fax seeking comment.

President Trump on Thursday proposed adding 10% tariffs on another $300 billion in imports from Sept. 1, marking an abrupt escalation of the trade war between the world’s largest economies shortly after the two sides restarted talks. Bureaucrats in Beijing were stunned by Trump’s announcement, according to Chinese officials who’ve been involved in the trade talks, and Beijing has pledged to respond if the U.S. insists on adding the extra tariffs.

Trump has repeatedly complained that China hasn’t made the “large quantities” of agricultural purchases that he claims President Xi Jinping promised when they met in Osaka at the G-20 summit. The escalation of tensions has encouraged Chinese buyers to turn to Brazilian soybeans, people familiar with the situation said.

Soybean futures for November traded in Chicago erased gains to fall 0.4% to $8.65 a bushel by 10:56 a.m. Beijing time after the news. Corn futures lost 1.1% to $4.05 a bushel.

(Updates with Chicago prices.)

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Steven Yang in Beijing at kyang74@bloomberg.net;Isis Almeida in Chicago at ialmeida3@bloomberg.net;Niu Shuping in Beijing at nshuping@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Kitanaka at akitanaka@bloomberg.net, Sharon Chen

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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