Trump Says He Would Meet Xi Again, Hails China Soybean Purchases

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he is willing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping again on trade as he hailed the country for resuming soybean purchases.

“I just heard today that they’re buying tremendous amounts of soybeans. They are starting, just starting now,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview with Reuters.

Trump said trade talks with China are already underway by phone, with more meetings likely between officials of the two governments

China intends to announce this month a batch of U.S. soybean purchases, according to government officials, after the country’s imports of the product from American farmers plunged because of the trade conflict. The resumption of U.S. soybean purchases would provide some relief to farmers, who have seen exports to the world’s biggest consumer plummet and domestic inventories pile up.

Trump is in the midst of delicate negotiations with China after agreeing to a 90-day tariff truce with Xi at a Dec. 1 dinner in Buenos Aires.

He is also facing pressure from financial markets, which have been roiled in recent weeks by concerns over the effects a worsening trade war between the world’s two largest economies would have on global growth.

Trump has agreed to hold fire on raising tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on some $200 billion in imports from China. But he has also vowed to go ahead with that increase on March 1 -- and to impose new levies on other imports from China -- if no progress is made in talks with Beijing.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.