US China Trade Update
US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spoke with reporters this week as another round of negotiations was about to get underway with Vice Premier of China
"The good news is I'm glad we're still talking. This is an emissary that Chi has sent here to speak for him. Part of the problem is that China has said they'd be willing to do some things in the past and they didn't live up to that. When they entered the WTO they made some commitments that we don't believe they've lived up to."
Perdue told reporters he knows farmers in the US are anxious and with good reason.
"I've told the president before that farmers are true patriots and they're some of his biggest supporters and they've been very loyal but it's difficult to pay the bank with patriotism."
A top U.S. Chamber of Commerce official told Reuters that discussions this week will be critical to resolving stubborn differences over how the deal will be enforced and whether and when the United States will lift hefty tariffs on Chinese goods. That same official said absent significant process this week on the "tricky" issues of tariffs and enforcement, the goal to complete a deal this month may be missed.
Perdue was also asked what it would mean for ag if President Trump carries through on his threat to close the border with Mexico. His short answer.: "It's not helpful."