New US-China trade agreement brings tentative hope to Texas farmers

Farmers anticipate trade changes

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Today it was announced that the U.S and China will sign a new trade deal on Wednesday.

The news is bringing hope to farmers across Texas who said they’ve had some of their supply just sitting in storage.

One of those farmers in Wichita County, Matt Mahler, said he’s looking forward to planting more acres of cotton and wheat on his land over the next year.

He said wheat and cotton outlooks are up, and this new trade deal between the U.S. and China can only help.

“Any time we can trade with foreign countries it’s great,” Mahler said.

While details of the agreement are not known, Mahler said future harvests look promising.

“It does have very very good potential to put some dollars back in the pockets of American farmers who have been shallow the past few years,” he added.

But Texas A&M AgriLife grain economist said effects of the new deal may not be felt for a while so his excitement is paused.

He compared the dispute between the two countries to a business deal.

“Because as any business person would do,” explained Mark Welch, “if you have difficulty with one of your primary suppliers, and that became threatened for whatever reason, you would start looking for alternative sources of supply.”

Welch predicted that agriculture product types and quantities might change, and that who both countries decide to trade with moving forward might shift.

“It’s not likely we’re going to get back to those full and active markets that we had prior to all this,” Welch added.

Despite the uncertainties, both Welch and Mahler agreed that getting this deal signed this week restores some faith in Texas farmers.

“So there’s a good bit of hope,” said Mahler, “we just have to play it out and see what actually comes of it.”

President Trump is expected to sign Phase One of this new trade deal on Wednesday morning. Phase Two has not been confirmed yet.

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