Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks
17 November 2018
President Trump has stated he has received a response from China over US trade demands in the lead-up to talks with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit to be held at the end of the month, amid moves and counter-moves by both sides and within the White House.
Trump told reporters yesterday the Chinese response was largely complete but was missing four or five big issues. He said: “They sent a list of things they are willing to do, which is a large list and it is just not acceptable to me yet.”
Trump’s remarks that China “wants to make a deal” initially sent the stock market up, only to lose most of those gains after administration officials said not too much should be read into Trump’s remarks because it was unlikely an agreement would be struck soon.
No details of the proposed Chinese concessions have been released. They are likely to include an agreement to purchase more US products in the areas of agriculture and energy and possibly to open up some parts of the Chinese economy and financial system to US investment.
But the “big issues” cited by Trump remain. These involve action by China over the alleged theft of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfers and the use of state-subsidies to back key industries, which the US insists is “market distorting.”
The Trump administration has not moved from its central demands set out in a document drawn up last May in which it essentially demanded that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program for industrial and technological development and assume a subservient economic position in relation to the US.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Chinese list was “structured as a written response to the US…