The Peterson Institute calls the China Phase One agreement a “flop” in a recent analysis. The analysis says, “Much of the deal was a failure.” Citing China’s pledge to buy $200 billion more of U.S. goods and services over two years, evidence from the deal’s first year shows China was never on pace to meet that commitment.
During the trade war, U.S. agricultural exports to China were cut in half in 2018, with 2019 levels remaining nearly 30 percent lower than in 2017. Overall, China did ramp up farm purchases in 2020 and by September was back on pace to reattain 2017 levels. However, the analysis says U.S. agricultural exports ended up both 18 percent short of the 2020 legal commitment and considerably lower than the Trump administration’s political aspirations. Without the U.S.-China trade war, exports to China would have ended up roughly 19 percent higher than actual 2020 levels, according to the analysis.