icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
1 Jun, 2020 14:35

China halts some American farm imports in growing rift with US over Hong Kong

China halts some American farm imports in growing rift with US over Hong Kong

Chinese officials have reportedly ordered major agricultural companies to pause purchases of some US farm goods, including soybeans. The move comes amid heightened tensions with Washington over Hong Kong.

According to media reports, China’s key importers of farm goods, COFCO and Sinograin, have been told to suspend purchases of US soybeans, pork and other goods. However, sources told Bloomberg that private companies haven’t been told to stop their imports.

US customs data showed that China purchased $3.1 billion of American agricultural products in the three months through March. According to Chinese data, those purchases totaled $5 billion.

China’s import order follows US President Donald Trump’s intention to strip Hong Kong of its trade and travel perks over Beijing’s new security law. On Friday, Trump also threatened sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Also on rt.com US govt wants to sell multimillion-dollar Hong Kong property as it revokes city's special status

The row could worsen the already strained relations between the world’s two largest economies. Trump has periodically threatened to call off the phase-one trade deal, which was inked by the sides in January.

Under the terms of the deal, Beijing has to buy an additional $200 billion of US goods over the next two years, including $50 billion of agricultural products. The US, for its part, has reduced tariffs on some Chinese goods, but maintained the duties on $375 billion worth of products.

READ MORE: Would US shoot itself in the foot in imposing sanctions over Hong Kong? RT’s Boom Bust investigates

Since starting to gradually reopen its economy after the virus-led lockdown, China had increased the pace of its imports, including a more than a one-million-ton cargo of American soybeans in just two weeks in May, and rare purchases of US soybean oil and ethanol.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section