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China Nearly Doubles US Soy Bean Imports As Trump And Beijing Hammer Out Trade Deal: Report

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Chinese imports of soybeans nearly doubled in November as the communist nation seeks a trade deal with the U.S., one of its biggest suppliers of the staple agricultural product, AP reported Thursday.

Imports rose more than 50% to 5.4 million tons, AP reported, citing customs data. China nixed purchases of American soybeans after President Donald Trump raised import duties on Chinese goods.

U.S. officials announced on Dec. 21 that a so-called Phase 1 agreement that American and Chinese officials hashed out in October could be signed as early as January. (RELATED: The Next Phase Of The US-China Trade Negotiations Begins)

The U.S.-China trade war began after President Donald Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in July and August of 2018. Trump doubled down in September of that year, imposing a 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Donald Trump urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to work "hard" and act fast to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, during their meeting in Beijing on November 9, warning that "time is quickly running out". / AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump was prepared to impose even more tariffs, but agreed to hold back after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to meet a number of preliminary demands. The truce took place at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and resulted in the president postponing his tariff hike for several months while negotiators work towards a finalized deal.

Tariffs have come with a cost.

Americans paid a total in September of $7.1 billion on all tariffs and $4.1 billion on tariffs stemming from Trump’s restrictions, according to data collected by anti-tariff campaign Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. Tariffs on $112 billion worth of consumer goods went into effect that month, forcing American businesses to pay an additional $905 million, the group noted.

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