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The Trump presidency is a win for China

25 May, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
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"Our Trade Deal with China is moving along nicely, but in the end we will probably have to use a different structure in that this will be too hard to get done and to verify results after completion", he tweeted.

In addition to recently imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, the administration has threatened tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods over intellectual property complaints, and Beijing has vowed to respond.

Meanwhile, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, who held negotiations with the Trump team headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, confirmed that Beijing is ready to boost imports of United States agricultural and energy products, stressing that China is emerging as "the world's largest consumption market".

Both sides claimed victory on Monday and pledged to continue talking after last week's round in Washington produced pledges that China would import more American energy and agricultural commodities so as to trim the $335 billion annual United States goods and services trade deficit with China, although there were no specifics.

"We strongly urge you to reject any proposal by China to loosen existing restrictions on the export or other transfer of sensitive USA technologies", the letter said.

China's state media put a positive spin on the outcome, citing an interview with Liu in Washington on Saturday in which he said the sides agreed avoid trade war and "stop slapping tariffs against each other", the Xinhua News Agency said.

"Nor does it address long-standing (and increasingly vocal) complaints that many United States firms are forced to transfer technologies and cede ownership to Chinese partners in return for market access, which prompted the trade investigation into China in the first place".

"But once they (China) have figured that out, then they start discounting the pressure and the noise and so on and they focus just on the bottom line".

Certainly, the stock markets surged on the news on what appeared to be vindication of the Trump administration's hard-line approach to realign the stars of the US-China trade relationship.

Any firm deal is likely to take a long time, according to most observers, and U.S. officials have threatened to return to tariffs, which prompted the current standoff, if needed. But Trump said on Tuesday that he had agreed to re-examine the matter as a personal favour to Chinese President Xi Jinping. So if the administration retreats, fine-especially if it learns the lessons at hand: In leveling the playing field for global trade and investment, cooperation and mutual interest get you a lot further than threats and bluster ever could.

Trump's assault on the rules-based order extends also - and ominously - to trade.

The Financial Times reports U.S. "We are looking for a permanent exemption".

A similar move in the auto industry would open yet another front in the Republican president's confrontational rows over trade that have drawn global outcry from allies and partners. And Brazilian soybeans last week were quoted at prices below USA cargoes.

Is that what the US really wants, though, to become a raw material and agricultural products exporter like Russian Federation or Brazil?

It may be still early days in the US-China trade conflict.

Eric Schweitzer said in a statement Thursday: "We should nearly regard this as a provocation".

The White House disputes the idea that Trump has gone soft on China and is certain to bill the trade deal, when it is confirmed, as a significant step, however it is portrayed by experts. "Or we can have an imbalanced world in which a rising power in China does so at the expense, at the direct expense, of a falling status quo power in the United States", he said.

Third, the United States still needs China's help in Mr. Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Brussels has also ruled out voluntary export restraints where European steel makers would limit exports to America but receive higher prices in exchange for the USA removing its tariff threats.



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