Trade Deal Talks, China’s Purchases of US Goods

Chinese and American flags fly near the Bund, before a US trade delegation meets with their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China, July 30, 2019.

on the song | Reuters

China said on Saturday it had pressured the United States to cancel tariffs in talks between the two countries’ top trade officials, which Washington sees as a test of bilateral engagement between the world’s largest economies.

The virtual talks between US Trade Representative Catherine Tai and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He follow on the heels of Tai’s announcement Monday that she will seek “candid” talks and get China to fulfill its commitments under the “phase 1” trade deal negotiated by former President Donald Trump.

“The Chinese side negotiated the abolition of tariffs and sanctions and clarified its position on China’s economic development model and industrial policies,” Xinhua news agency said after the talks held on Friday, Washington time.

An official in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said Tai intends to use the call, the second between the two, to test whether the bilateral engagement can address US complaints about Beijing’s trade and support practices.

“Ambassador Tai and Vice Premier Liu reviewed the implementation of the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement and agreed that the two sides would consult on some outstanding issues,” the US Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.

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Xinhua said the two sides “expressed their core concerns and agreed to resolve each other’s reasonable concerns through consultation.”

The two sides agreed to continue communication with an equal approach and mutual respect, and to create conditions for the healthy development of economic and trade relations between the two countries and the recovery of the global economy. He Said.

US cites ‘China’s authoritarian state-centric approach’

In a briefing before the call, a senior official in the US Trade Representative’s office said Tai would give Liu an assessment of China’s performance in implementing the phase one deal, including promised purchases of US goods that did not meet the targets.

It would also raise concerns about China’s “non-market” economic practices.

“We recognize that Beijing is increasingly vocal that it is doubling down on its authoritarian, state-centric approach and resisting addressing our structural concerns,” the official said. “So our primary focus will continue to be building resilience and competitiveness, diversifying markets, and reducing the impact of Beijing’s harmful practices.”

The official said Tai would base future engagement with China on “how China responds to tonight’s call” and declined to discuss possible next steps, but added that Tai would not seek phase two trade negotiations with Beijing on government support and other structural issues.

A phase one agreement in January eased the long-running tariff war between the world’s two largest economies. It has largely focused on China’s promise to boost its purchases of US farms, manufactured goods, energy and services by $200 billion over two years, along with increasing protections for copyright, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property.

The Trump administration envisioned a second phase of negotiations to address more difficult issues such as subsidies to government enterprises and China’s strategic industrial policies.

Asked whether the US would resort to another “Article 301” investigation that could lead to more tariffs on Chinese goods if dealing with Beijing fails, the official said the US would use “the full set of tools we have to protect workers.” Americans. Farmers and businesses are unfair trade practices.”

Tai, who is fluent in Mandarin and the daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, sees the call as “a test of whether or not this kind of engagement will help secure the results we’re looking forward to, as we begin to hope that China will respond,” said the official in the US Trade Representative’s office. Positively”.

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