The Bush administration is "hopeful" that a trade dispute with China that has disrupted exports of U.S. soybeans will be resolved soon, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Tuesday. "We are hopeful this issue will be resolved very soon," Veneman said during remarks with farm broadcasters monitored in Washington. Veneman's remarks were the most optimistic from a U.S. official since it became apparent last month that China had ceased buying U.S. soybeans. But in remarks to reporters after the farm broadcasters' event, Veneman was somewhat more reserved on the issue. "We haven't been given any indication that a deal has been struck and soybeans are going to go tomorrow. I really don't know at this point where it stands." A spokesman for Veneman said the secretary is scheduled to be further briefed on the issue later Tuesday by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. U.S. exports of soybeans to China have been interrupted due to confusion over new Chinese regulations governing genetically-modified organisms. There also have been reports of unusual quarantine and inspection procedures for South American soybean shipments that recently have arrived at Chinese ports. Those delays reportedly have made Chinese soybean buyers wary of booking U.S. soybeans. Last week in Shanghai, Zoellick said progress had been made during talks with Chinese counterparts. But U.S. government and trade officials subsequently said they saw little evidence of additional progress on the dispute that was threatening the U.S. industry's hopes of selling about $1 billion worth of soybeans to China this marketing year.