China has not informed the U.S. of any delays or reductions of its planned purchases of agricultural goods under the Phase 1 trade deal as a results of its coronavirus, USDA Under Secretary of trade Ted McKinney said today. “We have not received any formal notification of a delay, which pleases me. We hope it doesn’t come," he said on the sidelines of an ethanol conference in Houston.
McKinney also said that if the outbreak lasts for a long time, further disrupting shipping and economic activity, odds will rise that China may need to cut planned purchases. China’s senior medical advisor, Zhong Nanshan, said Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak could end in April as the number of new cases in China is declining.
McKinney also said he hoped China would consider additional tariff relief to help it meet its purchase commitments, but said he had no indication Beijing would do so. “It will be difficult to meet that commitment with the current tariff schedule and conditions in place,” he added.
China is not expected to make any official decision/move regarding its purchase commitments until the end of the first quarter.