Washington, March 20 – Negotiating teams resumed trade talks against the clock, days before the deadline given by President Donald Trump to raise tariffs to China and the growing possibility that it will be extended.
The delegations are headed by Robert Lighthizer, representative of Foreign Trade, and Chinese Vice Premier, Liu He.
Also present are the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, and the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross; as well as with the governor of the Chinese central bank, Yi Gang, and the deputy finance minister of that country, Zheng Zeguang.
The talks will last for two days, and although there is no confirmed meeting between Liu and Trump, it is possible that he will be received by the president in the White House at the end of this round of negotiations.
“The goal is to meet the needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the US and China, and both sides will also discuss China’s promise to buy a substantial volume of goods and services from the US,” the White House said in a previous statement.
In recent weeks, the US and China have decided to accelerate negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement before the deadline of March 1 marked by President Trump to increase tariffs imposed on Chinese products valued at US $ 200 billion at 10%. 25%.
However, although they insist on pointing out the progress made, the truth is that specific chapters have not yet been closed.
For this reason, analysts predict that a temporary ad will be chosen that gives room to continue the talks without the pressure of the countdown.
Trump himself gave wings to this possibility on Tuesday, pointing out that “the date marked is not magic” and highlighting that “many things” can still happen.
“March 1 was always an arbitrary deadline, which is what the president is apparently contemplating,” Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, said in a statement.
Along the same lines, Alex Wong, of the Ample Capital investment fund, said that “an extension” of the term is “very likely”.
“There may be some announcement, but it will not be very significant,” Wong said in an interview on CNBC.
The trade war between the two largest world economies, unleashed by the aggressive protectionism of President Trump has generated uneasiness and volatility in international financial markets.
Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have lowered their forecasts of global economic growth as a result of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Trump has remarked that it would be an “honor” to withdraw these tariffs if a pact with Beijing is finally reached, which includes greater access for American products to the Chinese market.
The president has also warned that any eventual agreement will not be effective until he meets with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, “in the near future,” without giving further details.
Xi and Trump agreed in December a truce of 90 days, and in these months China has adopted several measures of goodwill to close an agreement, such as lowering tariffs on vehicles imported from the US, the resumption of purchase of soy from this country or the presentation of a bill to prohibit the forced transfer of technology.
For now, however, the most difficult chapters between the two largest economies, such as the forced transfer of technology or intellectual property, are still pending.
USA It registers with Beijing a remarkable trade deficit: it exported to China in 2017 products worth 130,000 million dollars, while the Asian giant sold to the US market 506,000 million dollars. (EFEUSA)