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China Nearly Doubles US Soy Bean Imports As Trump And Beijing Hammer Out Trade Deal: Report

Chinese imports of soybeans nearly doubled in November as the communist nation seeks a trade deal with the U.S., one of its biggest suppliers of the staple agricultural product, AP reported Thursday.

Imports rose more than 50% to 5.4 million tons, AP reported, citing customs data. China nixed purchases of American soybeans after President Donald Trump raised import duties on Chinese goods.

U.S. officials announced on Dec. 21 that a so-called Phase 1 agreement that American and Chinese officials hashed out in October could be signed as early as January. 

The U.S.-China trade war began after President Donald Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in July and August of 2018. Trump doubled down in September of that year, imposing a 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump was prepared to impose even more tariffs, but agreed to hold back after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to meet a number of preliminary demands. The truce took place at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and resulted in the president postponing his tariff hike for several months while negotiators work towards a finalized deal.

Tariffs have come with a cost.

Americans paid a total in September of $7.1 billion on all tariffs and $4.1 billion on tariffs stemming from Trump’s restrictions, according to data collected by anti-tariff campaign Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. Tariffs on $112 billion worth of consumer goods went into effect that month, forcing American businesses to pay an additional $905 million, the group noted.

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