U.S. lawmakers, industry fret over Trump's China trade deal eagerness

02 March, 2019, 07:53 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • US to delay further tariffs on Chinese goods

Worldwide markets got a major boost after President Donald J. Trump announced that the US will delay imposing further trade tariffs on Chinese goods beyond the March 1 deadline that the US Trade Department set in September 2018 when it imposed a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

A report from China's official news agency Xinhua also noted "substantial progress" on specific issues such as technology transfer, intellectual property protection and agriculture.

US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods had been scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Trump announced on Sunday that he would be planning a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to pursue a trade agreement.

During talks that extended into the weekend, U.S. and Chinese negotiators were discussing on Sunday the issue of how to enforce a potential deal after making progress on other structural issues, according to a source familiar with the talks.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is expected to have grown to more than $400 billion in 2018, a record.

"As it is, we continue to view the trade matter through an opaque screen and make assumptions from the shadows of President Donald Trump", Pan said in a commentary.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil gave up 36 cents to $55.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The import levies were slated to rise to 25 percent on Saturday from 10 percent, a move that would have significantly increased the trade war's economic costs.

Trump's decision was a "positive signal", said the vice president of the U.S.

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"We can't be sure whether this constitutes a major cave or success because we don't know the details of what has been negotiated".

President Trump is doing what was once thought impossible by closing in on a deal with China on trade and for now, he has postponed increasing tariffs while the final terms of the agreement are hammered out.

Ben-Achour: What should we and what should USA businesses operating in China take away from this? "I think you're better off just going into a document", Trump said on Friday to reporters.

But Trump still wasn't pleased, disagreeing with his U.S. trade representative in front of reporters.

Another Chinese state-owned newspaper, the Global Times, said the talks "solved most of the problems of both sides" and negotiators were "already preparing the text of an agreement".

The United States also wants to curb Beijing's industrial subsidies, which Washington says fuels excess production.

"It's not surprising that this week has been more challenging", said an industry source familiar with the talks.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that both sides were drafting memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade, including subsidies.

"I have strong hopes that the two largest economies will be able to bridge their differences and reach a constructive agreement", said Carla A. Hills, chairman and CEO of Hills & Company, International Consultants, a Washington-based advisory firm on trade and investment.

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