President Donald Trump has said he has ask China to lift its tariffs on US agricultural imports because of good progress in the latest round of trade talks.
He has also put plans on hold to impose 25 per cent tariffs on Chinese goods, which were originally scheduled for Friday.
“I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs on our agricultural products (including beef, pork, etc.) based on the fact that we are moving along nicely with Trade discussions,” Trump tweeted.
“This is very important for our great farmers – and me!” he said.
He also emphasised the delay on the planned 1 March imposition on tariffs on Chinese goods.
Farmers are a key voting base for Trump’s Republican Party, and they have been hit hard by the trade war with China. Beijing placed tariffs on US soybeans, port and other items last year, which has dramatically reduced the amount American farmers send to the country.
Sonny Perdue, US agriculture secretary, said this week that American negotiators had requested China also reduce tariffs on US ethanol, but it was unclear whether Beijing would do so.
Trump’s tweet came ours after the US Trade Representative’s office (USTR) said it would delay the scheduled hike in tariffs on $200bn (£151.4m) worth of Chinese goods.
The notice, due to be published on Tuesday, deems it “no longer appropriate” to raise rates because of progress in negotiations. The tariff will remain at 10 per cent until further notice.
China welcomed the delay in a statement.