Friday, 19 October, 2018

China issues statement on Sino-US trade talks

U.S. President Donald Trump left speaks before signing S. 2155 the Economic Growth Regulatory Relief And Consumer Protection Act with administration officials and members of Congress in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington D.C. U.S Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs
Faye Gross | 05 June, 2018, 16:00

The appeal came ahead of planned weekend talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on US pressure to narrow China's multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

It sheds more light on where President Xi Jinping's government might compromise and where it rejects any challenge to a Communist Party-led model for technology development that it sees as hugely successful. He added that "economic reform and opening up, as well as increasing domestic consumption, are China's national strategies - and our established pace of reform won't change". "China-U.S. trade negotiations have to dig up the two sides' greatest number of common interests, and can not be tilted toward unilateral U.S. interests".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross led the U.S. team in negotiations this weekend with Chinese officials after several days of talks by lower-level officials.

China on June 3 warned the United States that trade negotiations would be void if it imposes tariffs on Chinese goods, as the latest round of talks organised to avert a trade war between the two largest economies of the world ended here.

Both the USA and China reported some progress in discussions over the weekend about how to reduce China's $375bn goods-trade surplus with the USA, but Mr Trump's revival last week of a plan to slap tariffs on $50bn of Chinese imports has cast the talks into turmoil.

That is fairly easy, say private sector analysts. China balked at making concessions unless the USA lifted the tariff threat. Its overall trade balance would stay the same. But he said the US insistence on a five-year sunset clause was a deal breaker. Those include gaining the same access to Beijing's markets that its companies enjoy overseas and improving protection of intellectual property such as patents and trademarks. "That's why this issue is so important".

There was no indication whether the talks also would take up American complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies regarding their technology.

On Friday, the European Union launched a case with the World Trade Organisation on China's unfair technology transfers. "Despite the potential negative repercussions for both economies, the risk of a full-blown China-U.S. trade war, with tariffs and other trade sanctions being imposed by both sides, has risen significantly".

James Davis, Freedom Partners executive vice president, echoed that sentiment: "This campaign makes a clear statement: Trade is a major priority for our network". That is despite China's status as the most-closed major economy - a paradox some foreign businesspeople call, "free markets overseas, socialism at home".

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Chip and Pin is apparently suffering severe problems but others are reporting that contactless is proving more successful. She told The Independent: "I had to leave some shopping in Sainsbury's because my card wouldn't work".


That means China would not only back out of any purchasing agreements with the USA but also retaliate for any US sanctions, Chinese officials said.

The White House said last week the new tariffs targeting China's high-tech manufacturing industries will go into effect shortly after June 15. "It won't be the case that the United States can get whatever they want".

The Chinese statement said the two sides "achieved positive and concrete progress" on Sunday.

All Chinese officials have stated that none of the previously discussed improved economic and trade outcomes would take effect if the United States continues to introduce trade measures like increased tariffs against them.

Negotiations on a deal to rescue the embattled Chinese telecom company ZTE also "appear to be hitting roadblocks", although Eurasia Group said it still believes it's more likely those talks will end successfully than not.

He said that China "already charges a tax of 16% on soybeans". China says the trade deficit is around United States dollars 200 billion. All three have promised retaliatory actions of their own.

What are the Chinese saying?

Some people familiar with the matter have told Reuters that approval may depend on progress of broader talks and a reprieve from a US government ban on sales by USA companies to China's ZTE Corp, penalised for illegally supplying telecommunications gear to Iran and North Korea.

China will also open its financial services market to foreign companies, and lift foreign ownership restrictions on electric vehicle manufacturers, prompting Tesla to register a company in Shanghai last month. As China increases its imports, the United States is bound to respond to the opening up of Beijing's manufacturing and service industries, as well as the liberalisation of its high-tech sector.

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