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Soybean Farmers Face Stress, Chaos

“I don't even watch the news anymore, because everything that’s said really affects us and our market, and we have enough stress,” said one farmer.

Soybean exports are nowhere close to pledges. 

As a result, Soybean Farmers Face Stress, Chaos and Trump continues to attack China for the trade deal he made.

When he met with the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he expected China to fulfill their purchase commitments, but most experts say those targets were considered too optimistic even before the global demand shock hit.

The forthcoming book by former national security adviser John Bolton suggests, in one of many explosive claims, that those purchase targets might have been set artificially high by design in order to bolster President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection. Bolton alleged that in a sit-down meeting, Trump specifically asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to agree to more crop purchases in order to help Trump’s standing in the Midwestern states he carried in 2016, and whose support he seeks for the November election.

The stress soybean farmers are under — and the ambivalence they feel about a president who promised to go to bat for them, but has continued to attack the very deal he championed — is a microcosm of the disruptive impact of the trade war.

Secret Talks in Hawaii

Bloomberg reports China to Speed U.S. Farm Purchases After Secretive Hawaii Talks

“During my meeting with CCP Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, he recommitted to completing and honoring all of the obligations of Phase 1 of the trade deal between our two countries,” Pompeo said in a tweet on Thursday, using an acronym for the Chinese Communist Party.

Pompeo offered no details beyond the tweet, but that was the first substantive news out of the secretive meeting with Yang at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii on Wednesday. It’s still unclear how the meeting came about or who had asked for it. Both sides have said the other initiated it.

China purchased only $4.65 billion in the first four months of the year, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show. That’s only 13% of the goal set in the trade deal and almost 40% below the same period in 2017.

Bolton's Book

According to an unredacted passage shown to Vanity Fair by a source, Trump’s ask is even more crudely shocking when you read Trump’s specific language. “Make sure I win,” Trump allegedly told Xi during a dinner at the G20 conference in Osaka, Japan last summer. “I will probably win anyway, so don’t hurt my farms.… Buy a lot of soybeans and wheat and make sure we win.”

Question of the Day

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What did Trump offer to get China to live up to the deal it made?

I suspect something regarding Huawei and 5G but that is just my guess. 

China surely did not agree to buy more soybeans out of the goodness of Xi's heart. 

So what did Trump secretly give up in return?

Curiously, this just came in.

Secret Deal Off Already?

Trump Clarifies Navarro's Tweet

Decoupling Nonsense

Please recall In a Nonsensical Tweet, Trump Proposes "Complete Decoupling From China"

What a circus.