China Halts All US Ag Imports, Trump Accuses China of Currency Manipulation


It didn't take long for China to retaliate against Trump's trade war escalation. It did so by halting all US ag imports.

Last Week the self-proclaimed "Tariff Man" raised tariffs on all remaining goods in China.

Bond Inversions Strengthened on the news.

Tariff Man Returns

China Quickly Responds

In response, China Halts U.S. Agricultural Purchases.

China’s state-run agricultural firms have now stopped buying American farm goods, and are waiting to see how talks progress, the people said, declining to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media. Meanwhile, the private crushers haven’t received notices from the government on any policy change since the U.S. escalated tensions last Thursday, people said.

“The leverage that China has is its large agricultural purchases,” Darin Friedrichs, a senior analyst at INTL FCStone’s Asia commodities division, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “This does affect U.S. farmers and the rural U.S. voting base that’s normally in support of Donald Trump. If they hit back before the election, that’s the obvious way to retaliate.”

China Soybean Imports Plunge to 2004 Level

Yuan Slides

Not only did China halt agriculture imports from the US, it also let the yuan slide.

Bloomberg reports China Takes On Trump by Weakening Yuan, Halting Crop Imports

China responded to President Donald Trump’s tariff threat with another escalation of the trade war on Monday, letting the yuan tumble to the weakest level in more than a decade and asking state-owned companies to suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products.

Editorials in state-run newspapers suggested Xi will reject any deal that either retains punitive tariffs or forces China to make concessions on issues like state-run enterprises that could weaken the party’s grip on power.

The onshore yuan weakened 1.4% to 7.0391 a dollar, falling sharply on Monday morning after the PBOC set its daily reference rate at a weaker level than 6.9 for the first time since December.

By linking today’s devaluation with the renewed tariff threat, the PBOC “has effectively weaponized the exchange rate,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics in Singapore. “The fact that they have now stopped defending 7 against the dollar suggests that they have all but abandoned hopes for a trade deal.”

Allowing the yuan to weaken is not without risk for China. A mid-2015 devaluation spurred capital outflows and destabilized global markets, though tighter capital controls this time around should help prevent another exodus.

OK None At All

Trade War Becomes Currency War

Trump Accuses China of Currency Manipulation

Note the Major Irony

Interest rate cuts to weaken the dollar and letting support level pegs drop are both signs of currency manipulation.

Negative interest rates in Europe and Japan are more of the same. Currency wars started long ago, and The Bernanke Fed slashing rates to zero in 2008 were part of it.

Did you catch the major irony?

Trump says the currency manipulation will "greatly weaken China over time", yet he wants the US to do the same, constantly moaning about a dollar that is too strong and interest rates too high.

Not Easy to Win

Hello President Trump!

Are you still sticking to your nonsensical statement "Trade wars are good and easy to win"?

Expect Recession

A Manufacturing Recession was Already Underway.

As the Bond Market Screams for More Rate Cuts, Trump Policies Ensure They Come

Yields are lower still today, and they have fallen every day since the FOMC announcement.

A global recession will soon follow, including the US

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (56)
No. 1-16

The entire trade war is stupid and will wind up hurting both countries. Trump's policies are already a drag on U.S. growth and the reason The Fed reduced rates. Trump has one legitimate trade issue with regards to China, intellectual property theft but instead of focusing on that issue Trump wants managed trade between the U.S. and China.


Coming up on lunch time in the USA, and SHOCKER! Mish has yet another post complaining about Trump.

Maybe the unrest in Hong Kong has at least something to do with Yuan weakening?

Or maybe the problem is global - central planning is failing everywhere. What is the big difference between the yellow vests in France and the protesters in Hong Kong? Other than China's government has shown restraint (so far), while Macron is using violence against his own citizens?

But Mish wants to blame Trump and only blame Trump. There can't possibly any other explanation for anything. Maybe Trump is part of the problem, but its naive to suggest that explains the whole picture.

Its Monday, and that's Trumps fault too! :) Or maybe Putin paid Facebook $10K to trick social media weenies into thinking its Monday, and Robert Mueller was just Putin's puppet for doing so! Yeah, that's the ticket

Its Trump Derangement Syndrome


So China will stop importing food. Good luck with that strategy! I think food (agricultural product) is pretty much a commodity with a global market. If they don't buy food from the US, they will need to buy it somewhere or starve! Kind of like boycotting oil. Unless you can force the rest of the world to go along with it, the impact is minimal.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"Allowing the yuan to weaken is not without risk for China. A mid-2015 devaluation spurred capital outflows and destabilized global markets, though tighter capital controls this time around should help prevent another exodus."


We'll see. China had to burn thru foreign reserves last time ($ 4trillion ---> $3.1 trillion) to defend. If things get SERIOUS will Mr Market call (bluff)?

Though, once again proving the adage of being too early is still wrong ... I believe Kyle Bass's position that yuan is one step above toilet paper (hey, gotta like the pretty pictures). Since the recession China's debt - much of it non productive paper-overing of zombies/RE - has soared from $8 trillion to $40 trillion. At SOME point there will be MAJOR printing of yuan to cover.


This is hardly a war. Many headlines read like the tariffs(not in effect) are causing mass economic damage. This is just not the case.