Impasse in US/China Trade Talks
On Saturday and Sunday in Beijing, the latest round of Sino/US trade talks failed to resolve key outstanding differences.
No details of weekend talks were announced. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his delegation met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his team.
On Sunday, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said “achievements reached by both (countries) should be based on the premise that the two sides are coming from opposite directions and will not fight a trade war,” adding:
“If the United States introduces trade sanctions, including levying additional tariffs (on Chinese products), all the economic and trade agreements reached by both sides will” be void.
Though statements by both countries said “positive and concrete progress” was made on increasing Chinese agricultural and energy imports from America, finalizing details are unresolved.
On Saturday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said Washington wants weekend talks to yield structural changes in China’s economy, along with increased imports of US products.
The latter objective is reasonable, not the former one. No nations have the right to demand how others run their internal political, economic or other affairs – how America operates in dealing with all other countries, wanting its own interests served at their expense.
If agreement with Beijing isn’t reached by June 15, Washington will impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, containing “industrially significant technology – specific ones to be named at that time.
By June 30, the Trump regime will announce investment restrictions and export controls related to Chinese industrial technology – if no deal is reached by then.
Beijing vowed to retaliate in kind to US tariffs and other trade impediments if imposed – targeting soybeans and other products in so-called red states where Trump’s voter support is strongest.
Analyst Nick Marro noted weekend talks ending in stalemate, “neither side conceding anything,” lots of uncertainty remaining for what lies ahead – nothing specific indicating possible resolution of important differences between both sides.
Talks will continue, more rounds to come – likely in Washington and Beijing. The US consistently pressures, bullies or bribes other nations to bend to its will.
China isn’t like most other countries, strong-willed enough to challenge heavy-handed US demands.
How further trade talks play out ahead remains very much uncertain.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”