China drops pork tariff
China's leaders announced Sunday night they'll be reducing tariffs on American frozen pork along with other agriculture products.
American and Chinese negotiators say they've been making significant progress in the past few weeks to calm trade disputes.
Over the past year, China has been fighting a domestic and international battle over pork. African Swine Fever has wiped out millions of pigs, causing market shortages and significant price increases in Asia.
On January 1, Chinese tariffs on frozen pork will drop to 8 percent; lower than China's "most-favored nation" rate.
North Dakota isn't considered a swine producing state, but Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said it shows progress on re-establishing trade agreements with China.
"This certainly opens the door and I believe it forces them to the table with all the difficulties their having, to actually build a relationship and let's have a fair trade agreement in place,” said Goehring.
He added there's a lot of opportunity going forward. However, there are still significant tariffs on other North Dakota agriculture products like ethanol and soybeans.
Back in November, China and the U.S. agreed to Phase One of a trade agreement and hoped to have it signed by Christmas. Two days away from that mark, the deal remains unsigned.