U.S. having tremendous success with China on trade

12 Janvier, 2019, 02:37 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs for Camp David from the White House in Washington

However, the official Trump put in charge of the talks, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, has focused on pressing Beijing to scrap or change rules Washington says block market access or improperly help Chinese companies.

Interestingly, while officially this was a vice minister-level dialogue, China's top man for the trade negotiations, Vice Premier Liu He, made an appearance anyway.

Those include initiatives such as "Made in China 2025", which calls for state-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.

The Chinese commerce ministry merely said the talks had been "detailed and extensive" and that a foundation had been laid for resolution of each other's concerns.

If the two sides are unable to reach a deal by March, President Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent and to possibly levy additional tariffs that would extend to all imports from China.

The statement added that talks also "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States".

The full year numbers will look somewhat different, partly because China has resumed purchases of US soybeans and other goods.

The two sides agreed to keep close contact, according to the statement. There's little indication of any progress on larger structural changes, including China's heavy-handed push to promote native-born champions in high-tech industries.

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Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that of the issues raised, the trade imbalance problem was "solved most smoothly". "China accepted parts that are in line with its reform, but rejected requests that harm its national security". "However, we do not see the USA fully removing the specter of tariff hikes any time soon".

It softened its stand by offering a mix of concessions by resuming purchases of U.S. soybeans, suspended punitive tariffs on imports of USA cars and toned down its "Made in China 2025" plan, which aimed at breaking the country's reliance on foreign technology and pull its hi-tech industries up to western levels.

US stocks surged Wednesday on optimism that the midlevel talks in Beijing will be followed up with discussions between higher-ranking USA and Chinese officials.

While Chinese goods going to the US initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data.

WALL STREET: Stocks rose for the fourth consecutive session after American and Chinese negotiators extended their talks to a third day.

Still, the USA statement said the negotiations dealt with the need for any deal with China to be "subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement" - a comment that reflects US frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments. After that meeting, top US officials said China had made an additional $1.2 trillion in trade commitments.

The results of the talks would be analysed at a separate meeting between U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He. Trump has complained repeatedly about the USA trade deficit with China, which previous year likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion. No agreement is expected, but any progress in a trade dispute that caused both sides to impose billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods will be welcomed.

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