WASHINGTON, D.C. — (06-01-20) — China has reportedly told state-owned firms to stop buying U.S. soybeans and pork from American farmers. A move that has shocked the White House as China’s actions break a key provision of the Phase One trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Reuters reported on Monday, citing two unnamed sources, that the order from Beijing also applies to corn and cotton.

According to the newswire, China is retaliating against President Donald Trump for announcing he would strip Hong Kong of its special status. This is sure anger farmers throughout the U.S.

China Slams the Brakes on Purchasing of American Soybeans and Pork

Trump made the announcement last week in response to a proposed Chinese law that would effectively nullify Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, which has been crucial to the city’s economy and position as an international finance hub.

Many said this was merely an attempt to distract from the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is now facing a third degree Murder Charge and manslaughter over the death of Mr. Floyd.

Scaling back U.S. farm purchases could threaten the Phase One trade deal signed in mid-January, when Beijing and Washington agreed to dial back steep economic tariffs in exchange for a handful of reforms and a promise by China to buy $32 billion of U.S. agricultural goods.

Trump stopped short of abandoning the Phase One agreement when he announced actions against China on Friday, giving an all ready nervous stock market a boost.

But the president faces tough political choices around China just five months before voters go to the polls to decide whether to give him a second term in office.

Canceling the trade deal and upping tariffs on China would add an additional burden to an already struggling U.S. economy as everyone knows Americans pay for tariffs.

At the same time, Trump has sought to paint Democratic presidential nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, as weak on China, putting pressure on the president to show that he’s not backing down from a potential confrontation.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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