China Trade War Might Settle on the Sidelines of G20 Summit

Pauline Gross
November 16, 2018

"High-level contacts between the two sides on economics and trade have resumed following the November 1 conversation between the Chinese and American heads of state", said Gao.

USA stocks struggled to hold early gains on Tuesday after oil prices slumped, just as hopes were rising for progress in the American-China trade dispute.

Correspondingly, according to the inside sources briefed in the matter, asking not to be named, a phone call happened between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Liu, but it failed to yield any fruitful results.

The U.S. and China have resumed contact "at all levels" over trade ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to force concessions from Beijing on the list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two countries.

He said that China also needs to make concessions on other issues, including in respect of intellectual property theft, restrictions of access to Chinese markets, compliance with global rules and standards, limiting the freedom of navigation in worldwide waters.

However, the chasm between the two sides on issues such as Chinese industrial policy and intellectual property theft remained vast and any post-G20 negotiations were likely to be hard, he said.

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"The president's attitude is, we want to make sure they know where we stand, what we are prepared to do, so they can come to Argentina with concrete proposals that address not just the trade deficit that we face". But whether or not Washington and Beijing will be able to strike a deal and avoid a looming sharp hike in tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods remains uncertain.

One scenario suggested by analysts is that Trump and Xi could agree to a ceasefire in Argentina that would prevent further tariffs from taking effect while negotiations continued.

On the American side, the discussions are now being led by Mnuchin and the Treasury, which has raised questions among some observers about the process. It's unlikely a decision is imminent, according to a United States official.

President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that Beijing needed to change its behavior to avoid a new cold war with the United States.

Pence also said China must offer concessions on intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, restricted access to Chinese markets, respect for worldwide rules and norms, and efforts to limit freedom of navigation in global waters, among other issues.

Responding to Pence's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had always been a "model student" when it came to respecting global rules and norms. "The US side should also respect China's sovereignty, security, and development interests, and respect the development path chosen by the Chinese people in line with its own national conditions".

Other reports by GizPress

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