US, China make surprise trade breakthrough after disappointing talks
You guessed it… rice
Officials from China and the United States finalized a protocol to allow American shipments of rice into China for the first time ever, the US Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday.
The US rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit from Chinese authorities, a statement on the USDA website said.
“The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in the statement.
The deal can be seen as a win for Trump’s efforts to rebalance the trade relationship, but is another one-off win. Look for China to continue to pull these types of concessions out of its back pocket. But as for the broader trade relationship, it is of note that the high-level economic talks this week were unable to produce a joint statement.