Daily Memo: The US and Iran, the West Rallies Around Xinjiang

U.S. farm exports to China surge as Washington considers banning certain imports.

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The U.S. goes both ways on Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was ready to explore the possibility of reopening nuclear talks with Iran, even as the U.S. readies military contingency plans in the region. The head of U.S. Central Command said the military is exploring the use of bases, including those in Saudi Arabia, that can operate during “periods of heightened risk.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who condemned recent attacks on Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, also discussed bilateral ties and defense cooperation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. China and U.S. trade. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. farm exports to China are expected to reach a record high this year, thanks largely to the “phase one” trade deal signed last year. It’s good news for farmers, of course, but as China has demonstrated with U.S. farmers at the height of the trade war and with Australia more recently, dependence on Chinese buyers can be problematic, to say the least. Even so, the Biden administration appears to be in no rush to lift remaining tariffs on China. We still think most will be lifted eventually; they’re not achieving much, and they’re […]

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