Trump questions Mnuchin over request Chinese delay U.S. farm trip

By Steve Holland UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S.

Reuters September 24, 2019 05:06:18 IST
Trump questions Mnuchin over request Chinese delay U.S. farm trip

Trump questions Mnuchin over request Chinese delay US farm trip

By Steve Holland

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday questioned a decision by his top trade negotiators to ask Chinese officials to delay a planned trip to U.S. farming regions after trade talks last week, saying he wanted China to buy more American farm products.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly that the trade talks would resume next week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He returning to Washington to meet with him and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Trump, speaking alongside Mnuchin, questioned his Treasury chief about the request that the Chinese delay a trip to meet with U.S. farmers in Montana and Nebraska. Mnuchin had said the trip was delayed at the administration's request to avoid confusion over the talks.

"Why was that our request, just out of curiosity?" Trump asked.

Mnuchin explained again that the U.S. side "didn't want confusion around the trade issues."

Trump then interjected: "Yeah, but I want them to buy farm products."

"There was no confusion," Mnuchin replied. "We want them to buy agriculture. They have committed to buy agriculture. And they're doing that"

Trump added that China had "committed to buy a lot of agriculture" and the United States should ship the products as fast as possible.

The exchange came after Chicago grain traders said Chinese importers on Monday had bought about 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans - around 600,000 tonnes - to be shipped from Pacific Northwest ports from October through December. News of the deals sent soybean futures prices higher.

Cancellation of the planned trip cast a pall over conclusion of two days of U.S.-China trade talks last week, sending U.S. stocks lower. People familiar with the talks said that there were no new substantive offers made, but both the U.S. and Chinese sides said the talks were productive, and that minister-level talks would take place in early October.

(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, David Lawder and Karl Plume; Writing by David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.