China trade deal negotiations hit another snag

Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after making joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

US-China Trade Talks Get Stuck Over Farm Purchases – Reports

China is reopening its market to US poultry, ending a five-year ban.

According to him, China is an important export market for US poultry farmers.

Major US chicken processors like Sanderson Farms, Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride saw their stock value climb to year highs on Thursday, following the announcement.

China had blocked US poultry imports after an outbreak of avian influenza in December 2014, closing off a market that bought more than $500 million worth of American chicken, turkey and other poultry products in 2013.

"The United States welcomes China's decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

US agricultural groups have largely emphasized concrete steps to open Chinese markets to more USA sales, rather than specific purchasing targets.

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However, optimism that the US and China are close to a limited trade deal has faded in recent days due to uncertainty over whether Washington would agree to rollback tariffs and also how any agreement would be enforced.

Trump last month held off on a round of tariff increases, and White House officials have suggested that as part of the current mini-deal he could delay fresh tariffs on US$160 billion worth of Chinese goods planned for mid-December.

There have been small signs that China and the USA are easing restrictions on imports of each other's goods. But it doesn't address basic disputes about trade, Chinese industrial subsidies and technology policy.

The two sides are conducting thorough talks on a phase one deal and removing existing tariffs is an important condition for an agreement, a Chinese commerce ministry spokesman reiterated at a regular briefing on Thursday.

The U.S. has been free of avian influenza for over two years, according to the Agriculture Department, and other countries have already allowed chicken sales to resume.

China pressed Washington on Thursday to roll back punitive tariffs. -China trade relations, and renewed worries over demand, driven by reports from OPEC and the Energy Information Agency.

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