No deal reached in US-China trade talks


No deal reached in US-China trade talks

Peter Symonds

10 January 2019

Three days of talks in Beijing between US and Chinese negotiators broke up yesterday without a deal being struck to end the escalating trade war between the countries. Further talks are scheduled in Washington ahead of the March 1 deadline set by the Trump administration.

The US threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, if no resolution is reached, underscores the one-sided and bullying character of Washington’s approach to the talks. The “negotiations” consisted of US officials insisting that Beijing meet a long list of demands, but offering nothing in return, other than not proceeding with the higher tariffs.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Office of the US Trade Representative declared that US negotiators had “conveyed President Trump’s commitment to addressing our persistent trade deficit [with China] and to resolving structural issues in order to improve trade between our countries.”

The statement noted that China had pledged to buy a “substantial amount” of US agricultural, manufacturing, energy and other products, but made clear that any deal would be “subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement.” In other words, the onus is on China to demonstrate that it will meet US demands, with the threat of additional penalties in the background.

The New York Times noted that the US intends to maintain its tariffs placed on Chinese goods last year. “Treasury would preserve indefinitely the 25 percent tariffs that Mr. Trump imposed in July and August on $50 billion a year in Chinese goods, or roughly a tenth of American imports, and the 10 percent tariffs that he imposed in September on an additional $200 billion in…

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