US-China trade: soybeans, corn and cars surge, but Beijing still not close to meeting demands of deal

US-China trade: soybeans, corn and cars surge, but Beijing still not close to meeting demands of deal

  • Through August, China had bought less than one-third of the US exports that President Donald Trump pledged it would purchase this year under his ‘historic’ deal
  • Proposed legislation against Xinjiang cotton puts added pressure on trade, as anti-China sentiment creeps up in Washington before presidential election

Exponential increases in purchases of some politically important American goods such as soybeans, corn and cars have failed to significantly move the needle towards meeting China’s annual import commitments in the phase one trade deal ahead of November’s US elections.

South China Morning Post analysis of detailed US customs data for August shows that China’s imports of goods covered by the deal, signed in January, were up 25 per cent relative to June.

The incremental increase came despite sales of corn to China soaring 513 per cent in August compared with June – when the US Census Bureau started compiling official monthly statistics to track trade deal purchases – while soybean sales surged 432 per cent and car sales were up 97 per cent.