Monday, 22 April, 2019

White House's Kudlow says U.S.-China talks making progress, could extend

Trump set to announce plans for summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reach an end to trade war Trump backs off border closure, says tariffs instead
Leonard Rios | 05 April, 2019, 05:25

Mr. Trump said he may still close the border if no other steps work, but his focus on tariffs as a more immediate option was striking. Three days later, he predicted that he would sign a deal "fairly soon".

U.S. and Chinese negotiators have been meeting in Beijing and Washington in recent weeks to hammer out a comprehensive trade deal. "We'll see what happens", Mr Trump said.

"We're going to give them a one-year warning", he said. The United States already has tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and levies of 10 percent on another $200 billion. "It's closer to being a cease-fire", said Pillsbury, an occasional Trump adviser on China. China has retaliated with duties on US products, including key agricultural crops. Mr Trump has suggested that at least some of the tariffs will stay in place, saying they are necessary "for a substantial period of time" to ensure Beijing keeps up its end of the bargain. A pair of recent academic studies concluded that the entire tariff burden has fallen on Americans.

For example, USA imports of electronics and machinery from China would drop to 11.5 percent after the tariffs from about 22.1 percent of total imports, while the proportion of imports from other countries would rise. He later said that an enforcement plan for a deal remained a sticking point as well. If the two leaders decide to haggle in person over any final details, a third-country venue is more likely. He added that it was unlikely that China would agree to an enforcement mechanism that included re-imposition of unilateral USA tariffs without the current tariffs being removed.

Trump said Thursday that any summit would be "here", but he did not specify whether he meant Washington or elsewhere in the United States.

"Both sides do want an agreement but they want to make sure it's the right deal for their respective domestic audience", said Tai Hui, Asia-Pacific chief market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Hong Kong.

Trump long has been an outspoken critic of Chinese trade practices.

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He also vowed to eliminate the United States' chronic trade deficit with China, yet saw it climb to a record US$419.2b in 2018.

Trump's meeting with Liu is occurring just days after a Chinese woman, Yujing Zhang, was arrested trying to enter Trump's Atlantic oceanfront retreat in Florida, detained after she entered the compound claiming she was there for what turned out to be a non-existent event.

That would translate to about 1 percent of the workforce in the US agricultural and transportation equipment sectors, and 5 percent in Chinese manufacturing other than electronics, like furniture and jewelry.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is leading the talks for the Trump administration, said there were still some "major, major issues" to resolve and praised Liu's commitment to reform in China.

Scissors, and others who see China as a United States adversary, worry the trade bargain may carry unintended consequences.

"We expect to make more headway".

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