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Trump casts doubt on U.S.-China trade deal hopes

01 February, 2019, 00:45 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Is This the End of the WTO as We Know It

US President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that trade talks with Chinese representatives in Washington were going well but wrote no final deal will be signed until he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By agreeing to a meeting, some of Mr. Trump's advisers believe the president is putting himself in a position where he will face enormous pressure not to escalate tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% now to 25% on March 2, as he has threatened.

By declaring that "NOTHING" would be left unresolved he also set a high bar for what could be accomplished in the next month before a March 1 deadline when tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports are set to more than double.

Trump stated in a tweet that he wanted Beijing open the Chinese markets not only to financial services but also to "Manufacturing, Farmers and other U.S. businesses and industries".

President Xi said China has given a lot of attention to the Beijing Winter Olympics, and all preparations are in order and are being undertaken.

China has proposed that the leaders hold talks in China after Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for mid-February, the Journal reported.

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On Monday, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against Chinese telecom giant Huawei, accusing the company of trying to steal trade secrets from the T-Mobile company.

"We hear rumblings or rumors there are some offers (by the Chinese delegation to Washington) around IP (intellectual property) enforcement, around the other sensitive issues". Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade tariffs, levying duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.

The US has objected to Chinese plans for state-led development of advanced technologies that American officials say violate Beijing's market-opening commitments. They're coming to the White House for a meeting with Trump on Thursday afternoon.

US officials have demanded that Beijing make deep structural changes to its industrial policies, including broad new protections for American intellectual property and an end to practices that Washington has said force USA companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms in exchange for market access. He was scheduled to speak with both U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. We're talking about they're going to buy some corn.

China has already made some significant concessions, including vowing to increase United States imports to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries.

Prior to being named US Trade Representative in May 2017, Lighthizer was a specialist in worldwide trade law for more than 30 years and is a veteran of trade negotiations with Japan in the 1980s. They have emphasized steps already taken, including reduced automotive tariffs and a draft foreign investment law that improves access for foreign firms and promises to outlaw "administrative means to force the transfer of technology". Critics dismissed Beijing's commitments as vague, and Trump backed away from Mnuchin's deal and chose to proceed with tariffs.

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