US-China Gives Signs Of Resumption Of Trade Talks

There were signs that trade talks could restart between the United States and China with the possibility of the next round of face-to-face talks taking place in September which is also the time when the impending fresh round of US tariffs on the remaining of the Chinese goods exported into the US is to set in.

There were some discussions between the two parties on Thursday and more are scheduled, said the US president Donald Trump.

The two sides are discussing a September round of meetings, said China’s commerce ministry. However it also said that cancelling of tariff increase by the US was also important.

“There is a talk scheduled for today at a different level,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Radio, without giving details. There were no comments available from a spokesman for the United States Trade Representative.

“China wants to make a deal,” Trump said in the interview and added that millions of jobs because of the US tariffs were being lost in China. “I think they want to make a deal, I sort of think they have to make a deal. We’ll see what happens.”

The 15 per cent tariff on Chinese imports worth more than $125 billion is scheduled to be implemented from September 1 and this list includes mainly consumer products such as smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and a wide range of footwear.

Last Friday, Trump also announced his decision to increase the existing and planned tariffs by 5 per cent on Chinese imports worth about $550 billion as retaliation to China imposing tariffs in US exports to the country.

Cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing will be charged import tariffs of 15 per cent starting December 15. Public comments on the issue of increasing import tariffs by 5 per cent on Chinese goods worth about $250 billion which already carry a 25 per cent levy would be collected till September 20, said the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office on Thursday.

China hopes Washington can cancel the planned tariff increase so that there is no escalation to the trade war, Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing. “The most important thing at the moment is to create necessary conditions for both sides to continue negotiations,” he said during a weekly briefing, adding that China was lodging “solemn representation” with the United States.

The planned US tariffs can be countered through “ample” measures by China, Gao said and added that whether the tariffs could be canceled should be the focus of the under the present circumstances.

While most American businesses in China were still largely making profits according to a recent survey of US companies operating in China, but a vast majority of them (81 per cent) opined that their business operations have been affected by the escalating U.S.-China trade war.

US-China Business Council said that the survey number an 8 percentage-point increase from 2018. The council is a body that represents more than 220 US companies – from Boeing Co to Archer Daniels Midland and Hewlett Packard.

The two largest economies of the world were urged to resume negotiations so that an end to the trade war can be achieved and prevent long lasting bilateral relationship damage being caused, said the council’s president, Craig Allen, a former senior U.S. government official and expert on China.

(Adapted from FoxBusiness.com)

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