Heavy US Tariffs On Chinese Goods Has Beijing and US in Private Conversations
The Trump Administration will propose raising to 25% its planned 10% tariffs on $200-B in Chinese imports, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to return to the negotiating table.
The US imposed 25% tariffs on $34-B of Chinese products in early July, and the review period on another $16-B of imports ends Wednesday.
President Donald Trump has threatened an additional $200% with levies of 10%, a level The Trump Administration may raise to 25% in a Federal Register notice in coming days.
At the same time, representatives of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations.
The public comment period on the US tariffs aimed at $200-B ends on 30 August after public hearings on 20-23 August, according to the US Trade Representative’s office.
Announcing a higher tariff is required ahead of the hearings and will send a signal that The Trump Administration is upping the pressure on China to make serious concessions.
President Trump directed trade representative Robert Lighthizer to raise the tariff rate to 25%.
Officials have cautioned that a specific timetable, the issues to be discussed and the format for talks are not finalized, but added there was agreement among the principals that more discussions need to take place.
Chinese officials have not yet commented on the prospects for resuming talks.
American and Chinese officials have hinted at the possibility of restarting talks in recent weeks.
“China and the U.S. have had several rounds of consultations and reached important consensus, but regrettably the U.S. did not fulfill its obligations,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday. “Nor did it make concerted efforts with China.”
The next wave of US tariffs is set to kick inWednesday, with the possible imposition of duties on another $16-B of Chinese imports.
The implementation could be delayed, as the administration works out the details of which products it will target. Officials in Beijing have vowed to respond with the same amount of tariffs on US products.
US is working to secure certain concessions and if China agrees, it is possible the US would back off additional tariffs.
A US Treasury spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
In a sign the trade standoff is reverberating through Chinese politics, the Politburo signaled Tuesday that policy makers will focus more on supporting economic growth amid risks from a campaign to reduce debt and the dispute with President Trump.
The communique, which followed a meeting of the country’s 25 most senior leaders led by President Xi Jinping, said the nation’s campaign to reduce leverage will continue at a measured pace while improving economic policies to make them more forward-looking, flexible and effective in 2-H of Y 2018.
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