US, China begin new round of tariff war negotiations

02-May-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

American and Chinese trade negotiators began more talks Wednesday aimed at ending a tariff war after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said US officials might be moving toward a decision on whether to make a deal with Beijing.

No agreements have been announced but both governments say they are making progress. That has helped to reassure jittery global financial markets.

Washington is pressing Beijing to roll back industry development plans it says are based in part on stolen technology and that violate its market-opening commitments.

Mnuchin said Tuesday he hoped for “substantial progress” in talks this week.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He gestures as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (center) chats with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer before they proceed to their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Wednesday. (AFP)

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He gestures as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (center) chats with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer before they proceed to their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Wednesday. (AFP)

The secretary said earlier this week’s meeting at a Chinese government guesthouse and another round of talks next week in Washington would help American officials decide whether to recommend President Donald Trump agree to a deal with Beijing.

The US delegation is led by Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthiser. The Chinese side is led by the country’s economic czar, vice Premier Liu He.

Trump raised US duties on $250 billion of Chinese imports last year in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Beijing retaliated by imposing penalties on $110 billion of US goods.

The talks also cover exchange rates and possible measures to narrow China’s multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

The negotiators are still discussing how to ensure that Beijing would adhere to whatever commitments it makes, and whether the Trump administration would keep tariffs on Chinese imports to maintain leverage over Beijing.

Mnuchin told Fox Business Network on Monday that an enforcement mechanism just “needs a little bit of fine tuning.”

US officials and businesses assert that China has failed to keep past promises concerning its trade practices.

Critics worry any agreement might hurt other countries by shifting Chinese demand away from them. They also worry it might marginalise the World Trade Organisation, which is meant to enforce free trade rules for everybody.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-china-begin-round-tariff-020351191.html

 


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