In a move that would be funny if it weren’t such good news for American farmers, President Trump has sold the Communist nation of China of all things…rice.
Supporters of the president say it’s just another example of his “art of the deal.”
For the first time in history, China has bought rice from the U.S. A report in the South China Morning Post says customs officials approved U.S. rice for import last week. The deal has left the president’s critics speechless, while supporters have responded with a wry and knowing smile on social media. “Winning” they proclaim.
U.S. rice officials say it’s a market they’ve been trying to break into for a long time. Forever, actually. The breakthrough is so big it would be like Kansas importing corn or soybeans.
Johnny Sullivan of Producers Rice Mill, Incorporated, in Arkansas says, “China is a monster of a market. That fact is based on the consumption rate of rice in China. The unreal part of the story is China could chew through the entire U.S. rice crop in 14 days.”
Ag Day TV says the news comes as leaders from both China and the U.S. will get together for trade negotiations this month. China has bowed to US trade pressure to reduce tariffs after Trump’s harsh tactics have caused China’s economy to stall with its first reduction of growth estimates in decades.
Trump agreed to a temporary cease-fire in December saying he would postpone any tariff increases for 90 days while the Chinese come back with a better offer on the tariff settlement.
After a six-month lull in which US media accused President Trump of destroying midwest farmers and failed attempts by China to influence swing states in the mid-term elections, China had recently begun purchasing U.S. soybeans again
Export experts say the Trump policy of pushing and securing more favorable tariff arrangements from China and other nations is the first time a US president has not backed down in the face of retaliatory actions by foreign nations. The policy has paid off with a booming US export market and more money for the US Treasury.
No word if the US rice exports will also be on a “slow boat” to China.
–Dwight Widaman and wire services