(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump does not want to implement the next round of scheduled tariffs against Chinese goods on Dec. 15, but he wants “movement” from China to avoid them, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday.
Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a 17-month trade war that has disrupted global grain flows, rattled markets and weighed on world economic growth.
China, the top global soybean buyer, said on Monday it hoped to make a trade deal with the United States as soon as possible, before the new tariffs kick in.
“I don’t think the president wants to implement these new tariffs, but there has got to be some movement on their part to encourage him not to do that,” Perdue said, according to an audio recording of his responses to reporters’ questions.
“And hopefully the signal they sent over soy and pork reductions might be that signal,” he added, speaking at a National Grain and Feed Association conference in Indianapolis.
Beijing said on Friday it would waive import tariffs for some shipments of soybean and pork from the United States but did not specify quantities.
Chinese soy importers bought at least five bulk cargo shipments of U.S. soybeans, or about 300,000 tonnes, for shipment in January and February after Beijing offered buyers at least 1 million tonnes in new tariff waivers, U.S. exporters said.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)