Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Post G20 summit, US, China resumes trade war negotiation

A cargo ship loaded with containers is seen at the Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang City east China's Jiangsu Province Nov. 5 2018 A cargo ship loaded with containers is seen at the Lianyungang Port in Lianyungang City east China's Jiangsu Province Nov. 5 2018
Patty Aguilar | 10 July, 2019, 14:59

The United States and Chinese trade representatives held a "constructive" telephonic conversation on Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser said it marked the latest round of dialogues between two sides since the world's two largest economies are struggling a year-long trade war, exhausted of what they reached an agreement to a tariff truce.

After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to suspend a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of imported Chinese consumer goods while the two sides resumed negotiations.

In actuality, sources familiar with the trade talks had been quoted saying that the latest summit did little to clear the obstacles to crackdown a trade impasse, that had broken down the trade talks in early May.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan on Tuesday. He said a face-to-face dialogue between both sides' negotiating team would be beneficial and could also occur in the Chinese capital Beijing, but offered no further details.

"Having said that, we have a very strong - I want to underscore this - a very strong expectation that China will really shortly, maybe immediately, begin to purchase United States agricultural products", he told the U.S. broadcaster.

"Both sides will continue these talks as appropriate", the official said in an email, declining to provide details on what was discussed and the next steps for talks. He then jacked up duty rates on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

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Trump said then that China would restart large purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities, and the United States would ease some export restrictions on Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies.

Since the G20 meeting, Washington has indicated it might allow sales of what it considers "lower-tech" semiconductors to China's Huawei Technologies.

Claire Reade, a former China trade negotiator at USTR who is now a Washington-based trade lawyer with the firm Arnold and Porter, said there was room on both sides to get a deal.

However, Mr Trump stipulated that officials would take care to avoid creating new risks to U.S. national security.

He also said relaxed USA government restrictions on Huawei could help the technology giant but would only be in place for a limited time.

Washington and Beijing appear to have different ideas of what the two leaders agreed last month on the sidelines of the main G-20 Summit. "We want a good deal".

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