CHINA has secured a lucrative jamon deal with Spain to protect itself from the $250 billion (€220 billion) of trade tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.
President Xi Jinping flew to Spain for a three-day state visit last week, where he signed around 20 government and business agreements, including one to export on-the-bone legs of Iberian ham to China.
In a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Madrid’s City Hall, the Chinese premier said he wanted to import $10 trillion (€8 trillion) worth of goods over the next five years.
The Chinese president described his country as being at a ‘crossroads’ in their economy, as he vowed to increase imports of jamon, something considered a luxury product in China.
Spanish jamon producers will now look to cash in off the back of the deal, by expanding exports to China, the world’s top pork consumer.
Xi said: “In economic terms, we need to decide if we are going to follow the economic globalisation and free market or if we are going to choose unilateralism and protectionism.”
It comes as Spanish exports to China increased by 28% last year to reach €5.7 billion.
A Spanish government source did however reveal that Madrid would not sign up to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, a development that links several of China’s global infrastructure projects.
Xi, who is the first Chinese president to visit Spain on a state visit for 13 years, will now travel to a G-20 leaders’ summit in Argentina, and then on to Panama and Portugal.