Sep 20, 2019

China cancels U.S. farm visits while Trump holds out for a "big deal"

Trump meets in the Oval Office on Sept. 20. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trade negotiators from China cancelled visits to meet farmers in Montana and Nebraska on Friday, around an hour after President Trump said he was interested in a "big deal," not “a partial deal” with China, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The U.S. trade war with China has reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs, compared with likely employment levels absent the trade war, Moody’s Analytics estimates. The National Foundation for American Policy estimates that tariffs will cost U.S. households $2,000 each by next year.

The state of play: Trump said last week he planned to postpone the latest round of tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports until Oct. 15, "as a gesture of good will." U.S. and Chinese trade officials restarted discussions this week, planning for a high-level meeting around Oct. 10, per Bloomberg.

  • The U.S. imposed a 15% tariff on $112 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, to which China responded by resuming 25% tariffs on American cars and adding 5–10% tariffs on $75 billion worth of additional goods.

What they're saying: “We’re looking for a complete deal,” Trump said. “I’m not looking for a partial deal. We’re looking for the big deal. We’ve taken it to this level.”

  • Nicole Rolf, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s director of national affairs, told CNBC that "there was no explanation as to why they were cutting their trip short."

Go deeper: Trade between U.S. and China plummets ahead of October negotiations

Go deeper

Trump says U.S. and China reach partial trade agreement

Illustration: Axios Visuals

President Trump said the U.S. and China reached a partial trade deal on Friday that included an agreement from the U.S. to suspend a planned 30% tariff spike on Oct. 15, while China will buy $40-50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods.

Why it matters: The ceasefire comes as the U.S. economy is showing signs of weakness as a result of the trade war — threatening the economic gains Trump has counted on to carry him to re-election in 2020.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Trump's promises on "phase 1" deal with China fall flat

President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2017. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

It's been a week since President Trump touted his "phase 1" partial trade agreement with China as the greatest-ever deal for U.S. farmers — but China isn't endorsing his promises.

Where it stands: China has not confirmed Trump's claim that it will buy $40 billion–$50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, and it says a final deal would require the U.S. to cancel all existing and future tariffs, CNBC reports. No final decision has been reached to determine if the U.S. will push tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

The cost of Trump's tariffs

Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Tariffs Hurt the Heartland; Note: Lists 1-3 refers to USTR designation of Chinese imports subject to tariffs; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Tariffs imposed by President Trump have so far cost U.S. corporations $34 billion, according to data compiled by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — a coalition of businesses and trade groups that oppose the tariffs — provided first to Axios.

Why it matters: Trade negotiations are set to resume Thursday, and corporate America is hoping the U.S. and China — whose tit-for-tat battle has cost companies the most — strike a truce.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019