U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will travel to China next week to meet with trade officials.
Next week’s discussions will cover intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement, according to a White House statement. Both sides appear hopeful to reach a draft agreement by the end of May.
The negotiations, which stem from the tit-for-tat trade war last year, bring hope that tariffs will come to an end for U.S. agriculture. However, the ongoing African swine fever outbreak in China, which is forcing a more than 20 percent drop in China’s hog production, will also reduce demand for soybeans and feed products, a top agriculture export product for the United States. If the two sides can reach a favorable agreement, the U.S. could be in a position to provide addition pork exports to China to cover the production loss.
China is expected to return to the U.S. for negotiations on May 8th.