China ‘con­fi­dent’ of reach­ing trade deal

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Trump warns tar­iffs back on ta­ble if talks fail to bear fruit

SHANG­HAI China ex­pressed con­fi­dence yes­ter­day that it can reach a trade deal with the US, de­spite fresh warn­ings from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump that he would re­vert to more tar­iffs if the two sides can­not re­solve their dif­fer­ences.

The re­marks by the Chi­nese Com­merce Min­istry fol­low a pe­riod of rel­a­tive quiet from Bei­jing af­ter Mr Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping reached a tem­po­rary truce in their trade war at a meet­ing over din­ner in Ar­gentina on Satur­day.

In a brief state­ment on its web­site, the min­istry said China would try to work quickly to im­ple­ment spe­cific is­sues al­ready agreed upon, as both sides “ac­tively pro­mote the work of ne­go­ti­a­tions within 90 days in ac­cor­dance with a clear timetable and road map”.

“We are con­fi­dent in im­ple­men­ta­tion,” it said, call­ing the lat­est bi­lat­eral talks “very suc­cess­ful”.

Mr Trump held out the pos­si­bil­ity of an ex­ten­sion of the cease­fire but warned tar­iffs would be back on the ta­ble if the talks failed to bear fruit.

“The ne­go­ti­a­tions with China have al­ready started. Un­less ex­tended, they will end 90 days from the date of our won­der­ful and warm din­ner with Pres­i­dent Xi in Ar­gentina,” he tweeted.

Mr Trump said he would place “ma­jor tar­iffs” on Chi­nese goods im­ported into the US if they are un­able to reach an ef­fec­tive trade deal.

‘REAL DEAL’

“We are ei­ther go­ing to have a real deal with China, or no deal at all .... Ul­ti­mately, I be­lieve, we will be mak­ing a deal – ei­ther now or into the fu­ture,” he tweeted within min­utes of the Com­merce Min­istry state­ment.

The threat of fur­ther es­ca­la­tion in the trade war be­tween the world’s two largest economies has loomed large over fi­nan­cial mar­kets and the global econ­omy for much of the year, and in­vestors ini­tially greeted the cease­fire with re­lief. But the mood has quickly soured on scep­ti­cism that the two sides will be able to reach a sub­stan­tive deal within the short ne­go­ti­at­ing pe­riod agreed.

The White House has said hat China had com­mit­ted to start buy­ing more US prod­ucts and lift­ing tar­iff and non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers im­me­di­ately, while be­gin­ning talks on struc­tural changes with re­spect to forced tech­nol­ogy trans­fers and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion.

Sources told Reuters that Chi­nese oil trader Unipec plans to re­sume buy­ing US crude by March af­ter the Xi-Trump deal re­duced the risk of tar­iffs on those im­ports.

Global fi­nan­cial mar­kets tum­bled on Tues­day as doubts over what could re­al­is­ti­cally be ac­com­plished in the tight ne­go­ti­at­ing win­dow added to con­cerns about fad­ing global growth.

The bench­mark Shang­hai stock in­dex slipped 0.2 per­cent by mid­day yes­ter­day.

“De­spite a tem­po­rary de-es­ca­la­tion of hos­til­i­ties fol­low­ing the G-20 sum­mit, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and China will re­main con­tentious,” said Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice in a re­port. – REUTERS

PHOTO: AFP

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

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