For many years, China has been the top industrial hemp producer on the planet even though China did not issue the first license for legal CBD until 2017. China’s industrial hemp is used to make everything from clothing to paper and hand lotion, with many of these products exported to other countries.
Hemp farmers in China have benefited from the lax enforcement of hemp prohibition over the years. At the same time, other countries enforced hemp prohibition more strictly. Some of those countries, including the United States, allowed the importing of finished goods derived from hemp while prohibiting domestic production of hemp-based goods.
Now, a reverse in historic hemp trade trends between the United States and China may be on the horizon thanks to provisions in a new trade agreement. While the two countries continue to be locked in an ongoing trade war, a first-stage agreement was signed recently by the nation’s two leaders that includes provisions involving hemp.
Part of the agreement is a provision requiring China to import $12.5 billion more agriculture commodities from the United States, compared to what China imported in 2017, in the next year. The following year China will be required to import at least $19.5 billion more according to the agreement.