China To End Anti-Dumping Probe Into US Sorghum Amid Trade Talks

  • China To End Anti-Dumping Probe Into US Sorghum Amid Trade Talks

China To End Anti-Dumping Probe Into US Sorghum Amid Trade Talks

The US has threatened to impose 25 per cent tariffs on up to United States dollars 150 billion in Chinese goods while China has targeted USD 50 billion in American exports.

As China-U.S. commerce talks resumed in Washington, China stated Friday it's dropping anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into imported U.S. sorghum, saying it's not within the public curiosity.

China entered the talks offering a package of trade concessions and increased purchases of American goods aimed at cutting the US trade deficit by $200 billion, according reports by news agencies.

The announcement was a possible sign Beijing is willing to make a deal with Washington, amid talks between senior USA and Chinese officials aimed at averting a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

China's decision to end the trade probe is the latest sign of goodwill between the two economic giants, which in recent months have been embroiled in a series of trade clashes.

Liu called on US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday.

In April, China forced USA sorghum exporters to put up a 178.6 percent deposit on the value of sorghum shipments to the country after launching an investigation in February following Trump's imposition of steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines.

It said it had received many reports that the investigation would result in higher costs for the livestock industry, adding that many domestic pig farmers were facing hardship because of declining pork prices.

A White House statement described the meetings as part of "ongoing trade discussions" and said Trump met the Chinese delegation led by Liu and the US team led by Mnuchin. Bloomberg News cited a Trump administration official as saying that Beijing sought to cut its surplus by $200 billion annually, matching a demand by the United States made earlier this month. "The next U.S. sorghum crop will be harvested in August", he told the news agency Reuters.

The deposit scheme brought trade to a halt and disrupted supply chains worldwide, with nearly two dozen ships carrying USA sorghum stranded at sea, as merchants and buyers scrambled to sell cargoes at big discounts elsewhere. The news brought some unexpected relief to Chinese buyers who still had cargoes stuck at ports.

On Friday, the Commerce Department said it would halt the probe and reimburse the deposits.

"This is great news!"

The United States shipped 4.76 million tonnes of sorghum to China in 2017, worth around $1.1 billion and making up the bulk of China's roughly 5 million tonnes of imports of the grain a year ago, according to Chinese customs data. Beijing still threatens to slap aggressive 25 percent tariffs on a swathe of USA farm goods, including sorghum and soybeans. "We are now saved", said a private sorghum trader who had over 600 tonnes of USA sorghum stranded at a Chinese port.

For many, the damage has already been done.