Gulf News

China con­fi­dent it can clinch US trade pact


- U.S. News · Politics · Elections · China · United States of America · Donald Trump · Chinese Ministry of Commerce · Beijing · Xi Jinping · Argentina · Twitter · White House · Executive Office of the President of the United States · Geng Shuang

China ex­pressed con­fi­dence yes­ter­day that it can reach a trade deal with the United States, 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 Trump and Chi­nese leader 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”.

Trump, via Twit­ter, 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 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 on a host of highly di­vi­sive is­sues within the short ne­go­ti­at­ing pe­riod agreed. Fail­ure would raise the spec­tre of a ma­jor es­ca­la­tion in the trade bat­tle, with fresh US tar­iff ac­tion and Chi­nese re­tal­i­a­tion pos­si­bly as early as March.

The White House says China had com­mit­ted to start buy­ing more Amer­i­can 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. ex­tended, they will end 90 days from the date of our won­der­ful and very warm din­ner with Pres­i­dent Xi in Ar­gentina,” Trump tweeted.

He said he would place “ma­jor tar­iffs” on Chi­nese goods im­ported into the US if his ad­min­is­tra­tion is un­able to reach an ef­fec­tive trade deal with Bei­jing.

“We are ei­ther go­ing to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all — at which point we will be charg­ing ma­jor tar­iffs against Chi­nese prod­ucts be­ing shipped into the United States.

“Ul­ti­mately, I be­lieve, we will be mak­ing a deal — ei­ther now or into the fu­ture,” Trump wrote in a post within min­utes of the Com­merce Min­istry state­ment.

China’s For­eign Min­istry re­ferred spe­cific ques­tions to the Com­merce Min­istry, which is due to hold its weekly news brief­ing to­day in Bei­jing.

“We hope the two work­ing teams from both sides can, based on the con­sen­sus reached be­tween the two coun­tries’ lead­ers, strengthen con­sul­ta­tions, and reach a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial agree­ment soon,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told re­porters.

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.

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