The Case for Healthy U.S.‐China Agricultural Trade Relations despite Deglobalization Pressures

Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type


Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy




The COVID‐19 pandemic is crippling the global economy and heightening distrust and political disagreements among major countries. Furthermore, ongoing deglobalization efforts taken by firms and countries are fueling the rise of economic nationalism. A prime example is the possible decoupling of US–China economic and trade relations, which the ongoing trade war has already significantly disrupted. This paper analyzes the impacts of COVID‐19 on US agricultural exports to China, especially the added delays and uncertainty regarding China's food imports meeting the US–China phase one trade deal target. I present the views of US farmers and the general public toward China and argue that healthy US–China agricultural trade relations are not only critical for both countries but welcomed by US farmers. I also discuss the possible rise in nontariff barriers following the pandemic as well as trade policies that are increasingly intertwined with political tensions. Finally, I discuss how the US–China phase one trade deal could possibly lead to a more balanced bilateral agricultural trade portfolio with greater share of protein and retail food products.

JEL Classification

F13, F52, F60, Q17, Q18


This is a working paper of an article published as Zhang, Wendong. "The Case for Healthy US‐China Agricultural Trade Relations Despite Deglobalization Pressures." Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (2020). doi: 10.1002/aepp.13115. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Agricultural & Applied Economics Association



File Format


Published Version