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US shelves next tariff hike against China after latest trade talks in Washington

CHINA has emerged with wins in last week's trade talks with the US suspending its next tariff hike on Chinese imports after two days of negotiations in Washington

US shelves next tariff hike against China after latest trade talks in Washington

CHINA has emerged with wins in last week's trade talks with the US suspending its next tariff hike on Chinese imports after two days of negotiations in Washington

14 October 2019 - 19:00

CHINA has emerged with wins in last week's trade talks with the US suspending its next tariff hike on Chinese imports after two days of negotiations in Washington.

The two countries took an initial step last Friday to cement a trade agreement that had been derailed for months. Many demands still need to be worked out later in return for an assurance of increased agriculture purchases.



President Trump said the US would call off planned tariff increases on Chinese goods this week while Beijing would buy US$40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products - which China hasn't publicly confirmed.



A bigger trade deal will come over time in three stages, according to Mr Trump, with more divisive issues to be addressed later. These include Chinese practices that the US alleges but Beijing denies, such as forced transfers of US technology to its economic rival, reports The Wall Street Journal.



Speaking after the talks, China's top negotiator Liu He said he was happy with progress.



The Chinese leadership feels that time is on its side, believing President Trump is under pressure to make compromises as part of his re-election bid next year. But by trying to drag out the negotiations, Beijing also risks the prospect that Mr Trump may harden his position again to show he is being tough on China - or that it may have to start over with a new Democratic president.



The Chinese side hasn't provided details of the negotiations, including that it will buy up to $50 billion of US farm products, the level Trump's trade team says Beijing will reach yearly. If achieved annually, that would be substantially above levels near $21 billion that prevailed in 2017 before the trade war and then were subsequently reduced by China as tensions mounted.



Beijing slowed down President Trump from imposing additional tariffs, though it failed to push US negotiators to remove any tariffs already in place.



US officials had planned a tariff increase this week to 30 per cent from 25 per cent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US hasn't made a decision on the planned December tariffs for $156 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing will likely argue hard for the US to remove that round, too.



President Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet and sign the first phase of a deal in mid-November, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile.


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