US, China exchange goodwill gesture ahead of trade talks

13 Septembre, 2019, 13:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce says the country welcomes the postponement of U.S. tariffs as a goodwill gesture and that teams will meet soon

Hours after complimenting China for waiving tariffs on some USA products, President Trump announced on Wednesday a two-week delay, until October 15, of higher tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese-made goods.

When talking about the vacant security advisor position after firing John Bolton, Trump cleared the rumours of having Mike Pompeo taking the role, and said there were "15 candidates" that were being considered.

Taken together, the measures pale in comparison to the oncoming hit from USA tariff increases still in the pipeline for October and December, the fruit of a rapid escalation in tensions between the two sides last month.

Preliminary meetings are set to take place later this month in Washington before USA treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer meet China's vice premier Liu He in October.

"It's something that people talk about, I'd like to get the whole deal done", he said. Mid-level teams will meet soon to prepare for higher level talks, he said, reiterating that both sides are communicating without giving a date for the meeting between the top negotiators. "But I would let the Chinese know that we need to hammer out a deal".

Instead, Mr. Trump said, that will be delayed until October 15. USA equities and Asian stock futures advanced after news of the discussions.

Moody's also says the trade war has decreased the size of the USA economy by about 0.3 percent.

A commerce ministry spokesman said they were granted if no alternative suppliers could be found or the increase would hurt Chinese industry or the economy.

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The gestures appear meant to reduce tensions ahead of the October negotiations over trade and technology.

Trump forged a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico previous year, aptly named the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, that included new key provisions governing the auto and dairy industries. "An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China's stance", she said.

Other soybean purchases over the past year have been made nearly exclusively by state-owned Chinese firms which are exempted from the steep import tariffs.

President Trump marked the development in a tweet.

In all, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods in a bitter trade war that has raised the spectre of a global recession, with further tariffs slated to take effect in coming months.

The statement said the commission will continue to work on the exclusion of additional tariffs on United States products, and the lists of the subsequent groups will be released in due course.

Mr Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about 550 billion dollars (£445 billion) of Chinese products, or nearly everything the United States buys from China.

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