Trump upbeat on U.S.-China trade meetings

01 February, 2019, 00:06 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Is This the End of the WTO as We Know It

Chinese officials are in Washington, D.C., this week for negotiations with top USA officials as the world's top two economies seek and end their trade dispute.

Trump and Liu - China's vice premier and Xi's top economic advisor - are expected to meet while the Chinese delegation is in Washington. America's trade deficit with China, our biggest trading partner, surged to a record $323.3 billion past year.

Mr. Trump faces pressure to make a deal as both the partial government shutdown and tariffs already imposed are hurting USA companies, many of which are opposed to tariffs.

He stressed however, that no decision would be made until he met his counterpart President Xi "to discuss and agree on some of the long-standing and more hard points".

The White House did not immediately comment on the report.

"China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table". Should the talks fail, USA import duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports are due to more than double on March 2 - something economists say could help knock the wind out of the global economy's sails.

A deadline looms. On March 2, the Trump administration is scheduled to escalate its tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington this week for two days of talks, following on from the previous round of negotiations earlier this month.

Details of the closed-door talks were scant with official statements seen as unlikely before they conclude on Thursday.

Prior to being named US Trade Representative in May 2017, Lighthizer was a specialist in global trade law for more than 30 years and is a veteran of trade negotiations with Japan in the 1980s.

Stocks in Asia and Europe advanced on Thursday, following gains in the USA on Wednesday. "You can't just flip a switch" and expect China to drop long-established practices.

"Uncertainty is not the friend of business", Powell said.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to temper expectations for any quick breakthrough in the talks, telling CNBC last week that the two sides are "miles and miles from getting a resolution".

Officials for both sides are now meeting in Washington in an effort to strike a deal.

The US's unveiling this week of criminal charges against Chinese corporate giant Huawei Technologies Co. isn't helping the mood. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" after China had agreed to step up its purchases of US goods, especially in agriculture and energy, and narrow America's huge trade deficit with China. Indeed, U.S. heavy equipment maker Caterpillar reported Monday that its China sales were slowing - news that sent its stock price tumbling.

For the American business community, there have been little signs that thorny issues affecting them have been addressed. "They are correct", Trump tweeted. He has also threatened new tariffs on the remainder of Chinese goods shipped to the United States. "Makes so much sense for China to finally do a Real Deal, and stop playing around!"

But she added that "the Chinese slowdown also impacts the United States".



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