Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

China Trade Deadline Approaches

An MH-60R Seahawk attached to the Will the trade war ever end? Potential late March Trump-Xi meeting would likely extend talks
Russell Knight | 13 February, 2019, 07:11

U.S. President Donald Trump said he's open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement.

"He wants to meet with President Xi very soon", White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday on Fox News. The 10 percent on 200 billion goes up to 25 percent on March 1st.

Mnuchin appeared at a Beijing hotel a couple of days ahead of scheduled high-level meetings with Chinese officials in the capital, with a March 1 deadline looming to strike an accord.

A new round of trade talks between the USA and China begins in Beijing this week, with both sides hoping to reach a trade deal by the end of this month.

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Aides to Trump say this week's talks are important as they need to demonstrate credible progress to both the president and financial markets. Trump had said final resolution of the trade dispute would depend on the meeting with Xi "in the near future" but told reporters it had not yet been arranged. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported - but no deal and United States declarations that much more work was needed.

The US has imposed tariffs on $250bn (£193bn) worth of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated by imposing duties on $110bn of US products.

A growing number of US businesses and lawmakers have expressed hopes for a delay in the tariff increase while the two sides tackle the hard USA demands for major "structural" policy changes by China aimed at ending the forced transfer of American trade secrets, curbing Beijing's industrial subsidies and enforcing intellectual property rights.

"The key is whether the USA and China can find common ground", said He Weiwen, a former commerce ministry official and now a senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, an independent research group. It has fast-tracked approval of a law that would ban theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, but the question is how much more it can compromise.

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