China said it would temporarily not rule out the possibility of levying additional tariffs on imported U.S. farm produce with deals made after August 3, and related Chinese companies have halted purchases of U.S. farm produce, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Monday.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a similar statement on Tuesday.
The move came after the U.S. plans to impose additional 10-percent tariffs on 300 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, which seriously violated the consensus reached by the two heads of state in Osaka in June.
With a huge market, China is a promising destination for high-quality U.S. agricultural products, official sources said, hoping that the U.S. should earnestly implement the consensus reached in Osaka and be committed to fulfilling its promises to create necessary conditions for bilateral agricultural cooperation.
The MOFCOM did not disclose the value of U.S. agricultural imports that may be subjected to new import tariffs.
‘We did our part’
In response to the U.S. side’s groundless accusations that China failed to carry out pragmatic actions over purchasing U.S. farm products, China’s state planner, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), noted some deals were not clinched due to the low price competitiveness, Chinese companies did their part.
Cong Liang, secretary general of the NDRC, said China has actively displayed sincerity in cooperation and made good progress in purchasing U.S. agricultural products after the Osaka meeting between the two heads of state, the reason that some U.S. products, including ethyl alcohol and corn, failed to clinch a deal in the Chinese market is because their prices are less competitive.
From the conclusion of the Osaka meeting to the end of July, a total of 2.27 million tons of U.S. soybeans have been shipped to China, and another two million tons of soybeans are expected to be loaded in August, said Cong.
Of the 14 million tons of U.S. soybeans signed in the agreement by enterprises of both countries, only 300,000 tons are left to be loaded in September, Cong added.
Some Chinese enterprises have made inquiries with U.S. exporters about purchasing soybeans, sorghum, wheat, corn, cotton, dairy products, hay, ethyl alcohol, soybean oil, wine, beer, fresh and processed fruits and other agricultural products since July 19 and applied for tariffs to be lifted in accordance with the regulations of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.
By the evening of August 2, a number of deals had been concluded, including 130,000 tons of soybeans, 120,000 tons of sorghum, 60,000 tons of wheat and 40,000 tons of pork and its products, according to Cong.
(With input from Xinhua)