Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says China is making good on its promises in the phase one trade deal it signed with the U.S. last year. CNBC says Vilsack points out the agreement allows market conditions to determine how much it has to buy from American farmers.
COVID-19 qualifies as a market condition that would legitimately impact how much China has to buy under the agreement. In the first year of the deal, China imported $100 billion of the U.S. goods agreed to in the deal; that’s 58 percent of the $173.1 billion-goal set in 2020. However, the secretary says he’s upbeat on Chinese progress. “I think they still have a few days to be able to meet the phase one, year one goal,” Vilsack says. “Whether they meet the exact amount, I think, is in question because of the pandemic.” The secretary will tackle a lot of challenges in the world of U.S. ag, including the COVID-19-era rise in hunger, as well as a sharp drop in restaurant demand for food products.