While the trade representatives from the United States and China get ready to start off negotiations on trade as a part of the 90 day truce agreed that China and the US agreed upon earlier in the month between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, the US has changed the cut off date for imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods.
This announced was made by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Friday and officially changed the cut off date for the imposition of additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and set it at 12:01 a.m. EST (0501 GMT) on March 2, 2019. According to the agreement between Trump and Xi, the US postponed the imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods as a mark of concession to kick start the trade negotiations.
The earlier date for the imposition of additional tariffs set by the Trump administration was January 1, 2019 which was later changed in a Federal Register filing. The US wanted to increase the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from the current 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
That notice is not related to the already existing 25 per cent tariffs already imposed on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods related to the technology segment which includes products like semiconductors, printed circuit boards and other electronic components, machinery and vehicles.
This announcement was filed as a part of the documents attached with USTR’s “Section 301” investigation into allegations of stealing of intellectual property and technology of American companies by China through the mandatory joint ventures that foreign companies have to create with domestic Chinese companies. These allegations formed the basis of the tariffs that the U.S. imposed on import of Chinese goods into the country which has been reciprocated by similar tariffs on US goods by Beijing.
The filing accorded the the change to the new U.S.-Chinese engagement “with the goal of obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation” after the 90 day trade war truce that was agreed upon in a meetign between Trump and Xi on Dec. 1 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
No expectations form the trade negotiations were mentioned or outlined in the USTR statement. The document however mentioned about goals which have been set forth in a statement issued by the White House related to the trade negotiations over a 90-day period where it is expected that China would make structural changes on forced transfer of US technology of American companies, protection of intellectual property, bringing down of non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and theft, services and agriculture.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)