The Philippine Star

As firms wel­come US-China trade truce, warm dis­putes re­main

- United States of America · China · Beijing · Donald Trump · Washington · Xi Jinping · Chile · Council · Renmin University of China · U.S. Chamber of Commerce · Europe · European Union · Japan · White House

BEI­JING (AP) – Com­pa­nies have wel­comed a USChi­nese trade truce as a pos­si­ble step to­ward break­ing a dead­lock in a 15-month-old tar­iff war, while econ­o­mists cau­tion there was lit­tle progress to­ward set­tling core dis­putes in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy that threaten global growth.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Wash­ing­ton would sus­pend a tar­iff hike planned for Tues­day on $250 bil­lion of Chi­nese goods.

In ex­change, Trump said China agreed to buy as much as $50 bil­lion of Amer­i­can farm goods. De­tails of other pos­si­ble agree­ments weren’t im­me­di­ately re­leased.

The bruis­ing bat­tle over China’s trade sur­plus and tech­nol­ogy am­bi­tions has dis­rupted global trade. Econ­o­mists warn a fi­nal set­tle­ment might take years to ne­go­ti­ate. De­spite that, fi­nan­cial mar­kets rise ahead of each round of talks and fall back when no progress is re­ported.

Com­pa­nies ac­knowl­edged Fri­day’s agree­ment was a mod­est step and ap­pealed to both gov­ern­ments to step up ef­forts to end the fight that is bat­ter­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers and farm­ers.

Wash­ing­ton still is plan­ning a Dec. 15 tar­iff hike on $160 bil­lion of smart­phones and other im­ports. Be­fore then, Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping are due to at­tend an eco­nomic con­fer­ence in Chile in mid-Novem­ber. That is rais­ing hopes a face-to-face meet­ing might pro­duce progress.

“Tak­ing tar­iffs out of the equa­tion for at last the next two months will give space for sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions,” said Jake Parker, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of the US-China Busi­ness Coun­cil, an in­dus­try group.

Trump said Fri­day’s deal has yet to be put down on pa­per but said, “We should be able to get that done over the next four weeks.”

China’s gov­ern­ment wel­comed “sub­stan­tial progress” but gave no de­tails of pos­si­ble agree­ments.

“I don’t think it’s a vic­tory, but it eases the sit­u­a­tion,” said econ­o­mist Yu Chun­hai at Ren­min Univer­sity in Bei­jing. He said both sides want to re­store busi­ness and con­sumer con­fi­dence.

There was no word of agree­ments on the core is­sues that sparked the dis­pute. Those in­clude US pres­sure on Bei­jing to roll back plans for gov­ern­ment-led cre­ation of global com­peti­tors in robotics, elec­tric cars and other tech­nolo­gies.

“There re­mains sig­nif­i­cant work ahead to ad­dress many of the most im­por­tant US trade and in­vest­ment pri­or­i­ties,” My­ron Bril­liant, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the US Cham­ber of Com­merce, said in a state­ment. Still, he called Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment a “ray of hope.”

Wash­ing­ton, Europe, Ja­pan and other trad­ing part­ners say China’s plans vi­o­late its mar­ket-open­ing obli­ga­tions and are based on steal­ing or pres­sur­ing com­pa­nies to hand over tech­nol­ogy.

Chi­nese lead­ers see those tac­tics as the surest path to pros­per­ity and global in­flu­ence. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­ceives a let­ter pre­sented to him by Chi­nese Vice Pre­mier Liu He, left, in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton, Fri­day, Oct. 11, 2019.

 ?? AP ?? US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­ceives let­ter pre­sented by Chi­nese Vice Pre­mier Liu He (left) in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton Fri­day.
AP US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­ceives let­ter pre­sented by Chi­nese Vice Pre­mier Liu He (left) in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton Fri­day.

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