Sunday, 16 December, 2018

China Temporary Trade Truce

G20: BRICS slam protectionism as China-US trade war dominate summit Trump meets Chinese leader at G20 summit amid trade war
Ellis Copeland | 05 December, 2018, 16:59

Trump's surprise announcement comes a day after he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to suspend any new tariffs and give negotiators 90 days to strike a deal.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that China had agreed to cut import levies on American-made cars. China also will make fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, a controlled substance, the White House said.

USA president Donald Trump took to Twitter to make the announcement, suggesting that the current tariff is at 40 percent.

In exchange, the USA wants an immediate start to talks on Trump's biggest complaints about Chinese trade practices: intellectual property theft, non-tariff barriers and forced technology transfer.

"With Trump himself having personally negotiated the latest deal, this one has a much greater chance of leading to a lasting truce", he wrote in a research note.

That's probably the best takeaway from the trade agreement between the United States and China that was announced Saturday at the G20 conference in Buenos Aires. "It is my great honor to be working with President Xi".

The White House said Saturday the two sides would "immediately" begin talks on "structural changes" affecting forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection and cyber theft. The countries have been at loggerheads over Chinese policies that make it hard for American businesses to set up shop in China, and that force them to share technology and know-how when they do.

Trump last week ordered a separate review of China's 40 per cent tariff on auto imports from the USA, 25 percentage points of which are the result of Chinese retaliation against Trump's own tariffs on imports from China.

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Even the 90-day deadline set by the Trump administration was nowhere to be found in Chinese media coverage.

However, he has faced fierce criticism from United States business groups, as the tariffs lead to reduced exports of crops such as soybeans, while raising costs for businesses that rely on Chinese imports.

Still, Beijing gave no sign of a changed stance on technology ambitions that Washington says violate Chinese market-opening obligations and might threaten USA industrial leadership.

The U.S. imposes a 27.5-percent tax on imported cars and light trucks from China.

But he tweeted that at "at some time in the future", Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and he "will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race". Both sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each country's goods. With the White House warning that following the 90 days, with no agreements, the tariffs would rise to 25%, these two questions could possibly play the largest role in China's decisions.

Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products had been set to jump from 10 percent to 25 percent after January 1, 2019.

Further, the differences between the statements released by the United States and China suggest that the two sides hold substantial gaps about expectations for negotiations.

Those are "central to Xi's core agenda of making China an innovation superpower" and linked to "geopolitical competition" with Washington, said Michael Hirson, Jeffrey Wright and Paul Triolo of Eurasia Group in a report.

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