Phase One Trade Deal Seems Totally Dependent On China

Agribusiness companies that are members of the US-China Business Council like the idea, but they too are not sure how China will nearly double imports of commodities, let alone agricultural commodities. “Maybe if this includes energy exports,” says Craig Allen, the Council’s president, thinking out loud. China mostly imports soybeans from the US, but to increase its volume of imports Chinese firms would either have to nearly double US soy purchases instead of buying from its other biggest market, Brazil, and increase the imports of things like chicken. “I think both sides want to get this right this time, but we are all waiting for details,” says Allen, adding that China cannot agree to import more of a commodity from one country only as this could open up a case against it in the World Trade Organization by commodity exporters like Brazil.