On January 15, the U.S. and China signed the phase one trade agreement. During the signing ceremony, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said “I believe it will be a real bonanza for American farmers, ranchers and producers.” China agreed at that time to purchase $34 billion in U.S. ag products during the first year of the agreement. Once COVID hit, the economy slowed down and total exports will be closer to $27 billion. Ambassador Gregg Doud, who is the chief agricultural trade negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, cites the most recent trade data. “October was the biggest and best month in U.S. history for U.S. agriculture exports to China and it was also the best month in U.S. history in dollars of U.S. soybean exports.” In addition to China, the U.S. has renegotiated trade deals with Canada, Mexico and Japan. Those four countries represent 47 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.
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