After completion of talks over their so-called “phase-one” trade deal, after the rising tensions between the United States and China delayed the discussions which were to be held earlier this month.
The US Trade Representative said after the meeting that both the sides made progress in the deal and are committed to the agreement.
The two sides were scheduled to meet on August 15 but were delayed by US president Donald Trump.
“I don’t want to talk to China right now,” Trump had said in an election campaign speech earlier this month.
Intellectual property rights and other issues that have been the sticking points in the negotiations over a phase-two deal were also discussed between the two parties, said the statement from the US Trade Representative.
“The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer,” said the US Trade Representative.
The timing couldn’t be more opportune.
Scheduled negotiations that were meant to implement the “phase-one” trade deal were suddenly called off just 10 days prior to the meeting by the US and China.
Neither side offered any official for the postponement. Reports however claimed that the cancellation was to allow time for China to live up to its side of the bargain and make more purchases of American grains and other commodities as had been agreed in the so called Phase 1 trade agreement.
This also augurs well for Trump who now goes into the week of the Republican National Convention after having struck a partial trade deal with China without any long-standing issues. That gives Trump the opportunity to claim that China can be brought to the negotiating table only by the Trump administration.
Further, at a time for the US presidential elections and Trump Trump as a candidate eager to show that he is tough on China is further bolstered by the increased pressure on Chinese companies by the Trump administration. That is in contrast to his opponent Joe Biden, also referred to as ‘Beijing Biden’ by Trump and his supporters and alleged that Biden would be softer on China than Trump if he is elected.
The statement from the Chinese side about the meeting on the Phase 1 trade agreement as a small one in which it said that the “two sides agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue pushing forward toward the implementation of the trade deal”.
According to analysts, that stance of China is apt because it realizes that the anti-China rhetoric of the US is not going to go away any time soon.
A similar situation is able being anticipated by Chinese companies who believe that US pressure on them will not go away irrespective of who is elected as US president – Trump or Biden.
(Adapted from BBC.com)