The hope by now, the start of summer, China would be purchasing large amounts of agriculture products from American farmers to boost President Trump's reelection odds ahead of the 2020 presidential election this fall. But that is not the case, as we've highlighted in recent weeks, Beijing/ rest of Asia have been on a buying spree in Latin America.
Iowa Soybean Association president Tim Bardole told NBC News that President Trump's signing of the phase one trade deal had been a disappointment, and China's commitments as per the trade deal will likely not be met.
"At this point, it hasn't done near what we were hoping would happen with it," Bardole said. "At this point, we're kind of running out of time for it to get close to the numbers we might have hoped."
Bardole had discussions with the House Ways and Means Committee last Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told him that China is expected to satisfy trade deal purchase agreements - though as we've noted, from day one, the commitments were unrealistic targets.
NBC quoted a section of former national security adviser John Bolton's new book titled "The Room Where It Happened," which alleges the agriculture purchase targets of the phase on the trade deal were artificially high by design to boost President Trump into the elections.
The hope and hype surrounding the 'greatest trade deal ever' in the "greatest economy ever" by the president and his administrative officials have been nothing short of false hope for farmers who bought bigger tractors on the promise of massive new deals from China, have been left in financial ruins as Chinese buyers went elsewhere.
"A lot of farmers are supporting what President Trump has done with China because this has been going on for years," Bardole said. "I hoped by now, or by a year ago, everything kind of would have been settled."
As China ditched American farmers for Latin American ones, the Trump administration had to deploy tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts to supplement the income of farmers due to loss trade because of protectionist policies.
"To me, it's been handled so poorly (referring to the president's trade talks with China) because of the amount of instability it has created," said Kenneth Dallmier, president and COO of the Clarkson Grain Company, and a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
A US-China phase on tracker chart via the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) shows China’s monthly purchases of US goods covered by the phase one deal is still way below commitments agreed upon in early 2020.
"I don't even watch the news anymore, because everything that's said really affects us and our market, and we have enough stress," Bardole said. "There are so many things to worry about," he said. "Our family’s been farming here since 1901, and I hope we can continue."
To sum up, it seems China doesn't want to give President Trump an election win - if they did - that would mean trade deal purchase commitments would be met. China instead went to Latin America for its agriculture needs...