Trump says U.S. under 'no pressure' for China trade deal

14 September, 2018, 08:52 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Salam Bin Mohammed 24 was first in the queue for the new iPhone 8 at Apple’s Regent Street store in London last September. Analysts will be watching to see if demand is as strong for new models this year

While no concrete details were revealed by either side, potential new talks would be aimed at staving off the next round of US$200 billion in punitive duties from the USA expected this month - the largest tariff measure in the intensifying trade war so far - and US$60 billion in retaliatory tariffs from China.

"We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us", Mr Trump said in a tweet on Thursday. "If we meet, we meet?"

The announcement followed reports by American and European chambers of commerce that foreign companies in China have been hurt by earlier tariff hikes by both sides in the fight over Beijing's technology policy.

But Beijing has come up with a non-tariff move to deal with the escalating trade battle, and it's making many American businesses' worst fear come true.

Two people familiar with the effort said Mnuchin's invitation was sent to his Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, for talks in coming weeks.

Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those plans violate China's market-opening commitments.

So far, the two economic superpowers have imposed tariffs of 25% on more than $50 billion of each other's exports.

It resulted, however, in Americans for decades missing out on innovations from European truck makers and paying higher prices for USA pickups and sport utility vehicles, said Mark J. Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.

"Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing", he wrote.

The Trump administration is preparing to activate tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, hitting a broad array of internet technology products and consumer goods from handbags to bicycles to furniture.

Eric Zheng, chairman of AmCham Shanghai, said he supported the administration's goal to push Beijing into overhauling trade practices Trump considers unfair.


"There's some discussions and information that we received that the Chinese government - the top of the Chinese government wished to pursue talks", Kudlow told Fox Business Network on Wednesday.

They are already affecting companies, particularly the automobile industry, and hurting economies.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing". A meeting among Cabinet-level officials could ease market worries over the escalating tariff war that threatens to engulf all trade between the world's two largest economies and raise costs for companies and consumers.

However, the last round of talks, between mid-level US and Chinese officials in August, failed to reach any agreement.

One of the highest-profile casualties of the trade war was USA chipmaker Qualcomm's (QCOM) $44 billion acquisition of Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which China killed in July by refusing to grant it regulatory approval.

China has also warned it could unleash "qualitative" measures, which USA business groups have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stalled visas and other red-tape headaches.

"This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting US companies and the imposition of a proposed $200-billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", said Eric Zheng, chairman of AmCham Shanghai.

That shows "neither side is 'winning, '" because "both are equally prone to losing companies", the chamber said.

The invitation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a swelling chorus of opposition to tariffs from Western business circles.

On Wednesday, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public. -China Business Council, said this week Chinese officials told it they were postponing accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other fields until relations improve.

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