Trade War: China Exempts Some U.S. Soybean, Pork Imports From Tariffs as Trump Touts 'Interim Deal'

China will exempt from tariffs a "certain amount" of new imports of American agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua, in another sign that the trade war is cooling down.

Reuters had reported that private Chinese companies bought at least 10 boatloads of American soybeans on Thursday, China's largest purchase since June, which amounted to more than 600,000 tonnes and were due for shipment between October and December.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond immediately to Newsweek's requests for comment.

The news follows President Donald Trump's delay of another round of tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese imports by two weeks. He shifted the tariffs from the original date of October 1 out of respect for National Day celebrations in China marking the founding of the People's Republic.

"If we're going to do the deal, let's get it done," Trump said on Thursday, CNBC reported, as talks on new trading terms between the world's two largest economies continue, in a bid end a conflict that is hurting the global economy.

"A lot of people are talking about it, I see a lot of analysts are saying an interim deal—meaning we'll do pieces of it, the easy ones first. But there's no easy or hard. There's a deal or there's not a deal. But it's something we would consider, I guess."

For more than a year Washington and Beijing have locked horns in a trade war started by the Trump administration over what it said was China's unfair trading practices, such as the theft of intellectual property, national security concerns, and to protect American firms from competition.

The trade war is hurting both sides. Chinese manufacturers are struggling after all-but-losing a major export market. Meanwhile, American consumers are bearing the burden of the tariffs and manufacturing and agricultural companies face higher costs, lower sales, and job cuts.

In a report, economists at Moody's Analytics warned that the trade war has so far cost the U.S. around 0.3 percent in GDP and 300,000 jobs.

Were the trade war to escalate further, as it has done before even when a deal looked forthcoming, nearly 800,000 American jobs could go and the economy may plunge into a deep recession.

"Given the high-stakes game of chicken, it is not difficult to imagine a darker scenario in which tariffs on all U.S.-China trade rise further and additional nontariff barriers are imposed," the report said.

China US trade war soybeans tariffs Trump
This photo taken on May 10, 2019 shows a worker displaying soybeans imported from Ukraine at the port in Nantong, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. Imports of soybeans from the US, once China's biggest supplier, have dropped massively since a trade war between the US and China began in 2018. STR/AFP/Getty Images