China positive on US trade deal, but Huawei bigwig’s arrest rattles stocks
CHINA yesterday expressed confidence in striking a trade deal with the US within their 90-day ceasefire period, praising the recent meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping as highly successful.
In Argentina last weekend, Trump and Xi agreed to a truce that delayed the planned January 1 US hike of tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200billion of Chinese goods while they negotiate a trade deal.
“We are confident in reaching an agreement within the next 90 days,” China’s commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, adding that both sides had been communicating and co-operating “smoothly” since the leaders met in Argentina.
China’s ultimate goal during the 90-day trade talks is to remove all US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, Gao said.
His comments come after the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei by Canadian authorities, on Washington’s request, threatens to spark a flare-up in tensions between the world’s two economic powerhouses again.
The two countries have hit each other with tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars in sectors from automobiles to agriculture and energy, stymying trade and redrawing global supply chains.
Gao confirmed for the first time since the meeting that China had agreed to implement consensus reached by both sides on agriculture, energy and cars.
“Then, in the next 90 days, we will follow a clear timetable and roadmap to negotiate on issues such as intellectual property rights protection, tech co-operation, market access and trade balance,” he said, stressing that the consultations should be based on meeting the interests of both parties.
The White House has said China had committed to start buying more US products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.
But global markets have been nervous about the prospects of a Sino-US trade dispute spilling over to growing rivalry between both sides.
The daughter of Huawei’s founder is facing extradition to the US, dealing a blow to hopes of an easing of Sino-US trade tensions and rocking global stock markets.