- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2019

President Trump on Thursday complained that China is “letting us down” by failing to purchase U.S. farm products in exchange for his decision to hit the pause button on tariffs in the ongoing trade war.

Mr. Trump said after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping last month at the Group of 20 summit in China that the Chinese leader had promised major new purchases of American farm goods as part of a deal to restart trade talks, but so far, at least, the orders have not come in.

Mr. Trump compared China unfavorably to Mexico, which he said is fulfilling its end of the deal after the White House threatened levies on its southern neighbor unless it cracked down on illegal immigration coming to the U.S.

“Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Earlier this month, in Japan, Mr. Trump said China agreed to buy agricultural goods in exchange for the moratorium on new tariffs and the resumption of limited U.S. sales to Huawei, a Chinese tech company that’s been blacklist by the Commerce Department for its suspected ties to Chinese intelligence services.

“We’re right back on track,” Trump told reporters after meeting with Mr. Xi in Osaka, Japan. “We’re holding back on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products.”

The president’s tweet suggested a partial derailment, as both sides try to strike an elusive trade deal.

Mr. Trump accused China of reneging on previous commitment earlier this year, leaving negotiations in disarray.

He imposed tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, saying it will bring the Asian power to the table, as companies move their operations elsewhere. China retaliated with tariffs on U.S. goods and shut down purchases of U.S. soybeans and other goods.

The Agriculture Department has already paid out more than $16 billion in direct payments and other support to American farmers to make up for lost markets as Mr. Trump pursues a better trade arrangement with Beijing.

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