Ag Trade: Biden, China Plan Virtual Summit by Year’s End

    Financial Times writers Demetri Sevastopulo and Ryan McMorrow reported on Thursday that, “Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to hold a virtual summit this year, in the first sign of improving relations between the countries since the US president took office.

    Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, and Yang Jiechi, China’s top foreign policy official, reached an agreement in Zurich on Wednesday to hold a virtual summit between the leaders following their two phone calls this year.

    ‘We do have, out of today’s meeting, an agreement in principle to hold a virtual bilateral meeting between the leaders before the end of the year,’ a US official said after Sullivan and Yang met for six hours.

    The FT article noted that, “The official said they had a more productive exchange than in previous high-level meetings, including when they met in March in Alaska with Antony Blinken, secretary of state, and Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister.”

    Wall Street Journal writer Gordon Lubold reported on Wednesday that, “The planned discussion comes after Beijing stepped up sorties of military aircraft near Taiwan earlier this month, while the U.S., U.K. and other countries have deployed an armada of warships in exercises east of the island.

    “Meanwhile, the Biden administration has begun defining its China trade policyaiming for new talks with Beijing but keeping existing tariffs in place.”

    Top 10 U.S. export markets for corn, by volume- U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update. USDA- Economic Research Service (October 6, 2021). Click Image to Enlarge

    And David E. Sanger reported in Thursday’s New York Times that, “It is not clear when, exactly, the summit will be held. Presumably other officials will participate, just as they would if the meeting were held in the United States or China.”

    Top 10 U.S. export markets for wheat, by volume- U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update. USDA- Economic Research Service (October 6, 2021). Click Image to Enlarge

    Reuters writers John Revill and Steve Holland reported on Thursday that, “Both sides had described the meeting as a follow-on from President Joe Biden’s early September call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, prior to which the world’s top two economies appeared to have been locked in a stalemate.”

    Biden’s call with Xi in September ended a nearly seven-month gap in direct communication between the leaders, and the two discussed the need to ensure that their competition does not veer into conflict,” the Reuters article said.

    2020 Agricultural Export Yearbook. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service (April 5, 2021 ). Click Image to Enlarge

    Revill and Holland added that, “With trade tensions also at the top of the U.S.-China agenda, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in Paris for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development meetings, has said she hopes to hold discussions soon with Chinese counterparts.

    “On Monday, Tai unveiled the results of a months-long ‘top-to-bottom’ review of China trade policy, pledging to hold ‘frank’ talks with Beijing about its failure to keep promises made in former President Donald Trump’s trade deal and end harmful industrial policies.”

    Also, Bloomberg writers Jenny Leonard and Jennifer Jacobs reported on Wednesday that, “U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is set to meet with her counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, as soon as this week to discuss what the U.S. regards as China’s shortfalls in the agreement and Beijing’s harmful industrial policies.”




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