Ag Today May 22, 2018

Farmers ‘cautiously optimistic’ after China trade deal, citrus hurting

Eric Woomer, Published 2:46 p.m. PT May 21, 2018 | Updated 3:07 p.m. PT May 21, 2018

The Trump administration sent mixed signals Monday about a potential trade deal with China as senior economic officials defended a decision to lift sanctions in exchange for promises from Beijing to ease trade barriers.

Administration officials announced over the weekend the U.S. would hold off on $150 billion in proposed tariffs after Chinese negotiators agreed to increase how much the country purchases in American goods.

Critics, including some Trump allies, said it was too soon to make that move without concrete assurances from China.

In a series of Twitter posts on Monday, Trump touted the “potential deal” and wrote that tariffs and barriers on U.S. goods would “come down for first time.”

“China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products — would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!” Trump wrote.

“Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce.”

What does this mean for the second most productive agricultural county in the nation — especially citrus farmer?

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