published on December 26, 2019 - 2:14 PM
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(AP) — President Donald Trump likes to joke that America’s farmers have a nice problem on their hands: They’re going to need bigger tractors to keep up with surging Chinese demand for their soybeans and other agricultural goods under a preliminary deal between the world’s two largest economies.

But will they really?

From Beijing to America’s farm belt, skeptics are questioning just how much China has actually committed to buy — and whether U.S. farmers would be able anytime soon to export goods there in the outsize quantity that Trump has promised.

It amounts to $40 billion a year, according to Trump’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer. If you ask the exuberant president himself, though, the total is actually “much more than’’ $50 billion. To put that in perspective, U.S. farm exports to China have never topped $26 billion in any one year.


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