More talk of US-China trade ceasefire

Pauline Gross
November 16, 2018

Trump is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month.

Trump, who has made the USA economic relationship with China a centerpiece of his presidency, reiterated that he wants a deal both sides can be happy with. "All-out cold war coming if China doesn't change course; we won't back down", Pence was quoted as saying.

United States share markets jumped in response to the comments.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said Thursday it wasn't clear whether Pence expressed the Trump administration's position or his personal opinion.

The Chinese government earlier this week made an initial offer on trade, which Trump said addressed 142 negotiating points. "The work team is maintaining close contact to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state".

Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports, about $267 billion worth, if Beijing fails to address USA demands.

Per US Vice President Mike Pence, however, the meeting is more than just about settling trade issues.

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Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro, a staunch advocate of tariffs, was publicly sidelined this week - for the second time in his tenure with the Trump administration - after claiming in a speech on Friday that Trump was committed to a hard line with Beijing.

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.

China has also proved that it's aware of its own commercial self-interest and the impact its own retaliatory measures were having on it, Mr Ross said, pointing to Beijing's decision to reduce a 25 per cent retaliatory tariff on US LNG to 10 per cent.

"Then so be it", Pence said.

The Trump administration has been increasingly vocal in its criticisms of Beijing since the USA midterm elections.

There is also some speculation that Trump is wary of going into the meeting with Xi amid falling United States stock valuations, and sees positive trade news as a tactic to boost the market ahead of the meeting.

Gao said: "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".

Other reports by GizPress

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