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China asked state buyers to halt US agriculture imports

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The Chinese government has asked its state-owned enterprises to suspend imports of US agricultural products after President Donald Trump ratcheted up trade tensions with the Asian nation last week, people familiar with the situation said.

[BEIJING] The Chinese government has asked its state-owned enterprises to suspend imports of US agricultural products after President Donald Trump ratcheted up trade tensions with the Asian nation last week, people familiar with the situation said.

China's state-run agricultural firms have now stopped buying American farm goods, and are waiting to see how trade talks progress, the people said, declining to be identified as they're not authorised to speak to the media. China's commerce ministry didn't respond to a fax seeking comment.

President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed adding 10 per cent tariffs on another US$300 billion in imports from Sept 1, marking an abrupt escalation of the trade war between the world's largest economies shortly after the two sides restarted talks. Bureaucrats in Beijing were stunned by Mr Trump's announcement, according to Chinese officials who've been involved in the trade talks, and Beijing has pledged to respond if the US insists on adding the extra tariffs.

Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that China hasn't made the "large quantities" of agricultural purchases that he claims President Xi Jinping promised when then they met in Osaka at the G-20 summit. The escalation of tensions has encouraged Chinese buyers to turn to Brazilian soya beans, people familiar with the situation said.

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