FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during an event hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump with workers on “Cutting the Red Tape, Unleashing Economic Freedom” in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Chinese delegation will visit American farm regions with U.S. officials next week in an effort to build goodwill amid ongoing trade negotiations, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on Thursday.
“They want to see the production of agriculture. I think they want to build goodwill,” Perdue said. The delegation will travel with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but it was unclear where specifically they would visit, he added.
CNBC reported earlier on Thursday that the delegation, led by Vice Minister for Agriculture Qu Dongyu, would meet with agricultural producers and was planning visits to Bozeman, Montana and Omaha, Nebraska.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators were meeting on Thursday for their first trade talks in nearly two months, as the United States and China seek an end to a trade war marked by tit-for-tat tariffs. The discussions are expected to focus heavily on agriculture.
The tensions in the world’s largest economies have upended supply chains worldwide and curbed global economic growth.
But last week, in an indication that the dispute may be softening, U.S. President Donald Trump delayed a planned hike on tariffs on some Chinese goods, while China postponed tariffs on U.S. cancer drugs, lubricants and animal feed ingredients.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey, Chris Reese and Tom Brown