Earlier this month, President Trump signed a partial trade deal with China, stalling the 18-month trade war between the two countries. While some question the long-term outcome of the deal, Virginia Tech agriculture trade expert Jason Grant believes that the Phase One deal could bring many benefits to U.S. farmers.

“I’m bullish on the deal. It could result in unprecedented U.S. agricultural exports and support farm prices that have been depressed by trade disputes and surplus production over the last several years.”


“The deal is unique in that tariff reductions or eliminations are hardly mentioned in the deal. The precedent in trade deals is to have countries lower their tariffs. For example, in the U.S.-Japan agreement signed in October 2019, Japan will lower its tariff on beef imports from the U.S. from 38.5% to 9% over 15 years. That tariff reduction makes American beef exports more competitive into the Japanese market and will hopefully lead to increased beef trade with Japan. However, the Phase One deal primarily considers trade volume purchases. Under the agreement, U.S. agricultural exports to China in 2021 will equal the country’s total agricultural exports to both Canada and Mexico combined. However, to make this change a reality, China will have to purchase U.S. agricultural products earlier and more often in 2020 and 2021 than we are typically accustomed to seeing.”


Grant is an associate professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His research expertise is in the area of agricultural trade, specifically with regards to bilateral and regional free trade agreements, trade disputes, as well as tariffs and non-tariff measures. Grant has performed economic analysis for the United States Department of Agriculture, including an analysis that quantified the benefits and drawbacks to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2016 and trade impact assessment of the 2018/19 U.S.-China trade dispute. Grant directs the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Center for Agricultural Trade, which promotes agricultural trade through research, education, and outreach.

To secure a live or recorded video interview with Jason Grant from the Virginia Tech campus, contact Bill Foy by email; or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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