FLASH: Trade talks with China could collapse if a deal cannot be reached on enforcement of these “structural” issues.
President Trump said on Wednesday that trade talks with China were moving along well and predicted either a “good deal” or no deal between the world’s 2 largest economies.
Washington and Beijing have been in intense negotiations to end a months-long trade dispute. President Trump, citing progress in talks, last week delayed a planned tariff increase to 25% from 10% on $200-B of Chinese goods.
“They are moving along well and we’ll see what happens,” the President said Wednesday during a meeting in the Oval Office, referring to the trade talks. He said there would either be “a good deal or it’s not going to be a deal, but I think they’re moving along very nicely.”
President Trump’s comments after the US Commerce Department said Wednesday that the US goods trade deficit surged to a record high in Y 2018 as strong domestic demand fueled by lower taxes pulled in imports, despite the president’s tariffs and “America First” policies aimed at shrinking the trade gap.
Talks are primarily taking place via video teleconference and going well, Ted McKinney, undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, told a press call.
“Right now, I think there’s just a lot of work in getting words down … a contract or agreement, and that’s the current status,” he added.
The United States has demanded that China make substantial changes to its laws and practices to protect US intellectual property, end forced transfers of US technology to Chinese firms, curb generous industrial subsidies and open the domestic market to US companies.
In addition, Washington has sought increased Chinese purchases of US goods, including farm and energy commodities and manufactured products, to reduce a US trade deficit with China that it estimates at more than $417-B for Y 2018.
People familiar with the talks said the 2 sides still had substantial work ahead to reach agreement on a way to ensure China follows through on any pledges.