China and the United States resume trade negotiations

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

In the high-level G-20 summit, the presidents of the United States and China held a meeting, agreeing on a “cease of fire” on the Trade War between their nations to avoid any escalation feared by financial markets, companies and farmers.

President Trump stated, “We’re going to work with China where we left off”, indicating that the United States and China will resume their commercial dialogue. However, he assured not to be in a hurry to close any trade deals.

The American President expressed to the media that their relations with China are “back on track”, but doubts remain about the willingness of both nations on reaching an agreement for a long-term solution.

Both countries will resume their negotiations, which were interrupted in May, “on the basis of equality and mutual respect”, according the news agency, Xinhua.

At the moment, the existing tariffs of the United States will continue to be in force against imports coming from China while negotiations are still being held, but the announced taxes for more than 300 billion dollars on Chinese imports will not be activated. It was also confirmed that North American companies will be allowed once again to supply materials to Huawei technology, remembering the Executive issued a resolution prohibiting the establishment of business relations with the company of Chinese origin, under the suspicion of being a threat to national security.

11 rounds of negotiations have taken place so far, without ending the impasse. The United States has enforced an import tariff of 25% on Chinese products worth 250 billion dollars and threatened to apply more tariffs on Chinese products for 300 billion dollars. The new tariffs would have meant that virtually everything China exported to the United States would have been taxed.

China countered with tariffs worth 110 billion dollars on American products, focusing on agricultural products. The tariff strike affects primarily President Trump’s supporters on the agricultural belt in the United States.

This fight has already cost companies from both countries billions of dollars, has interrupted world lines of manufacturing and supplying and has affected global markets.

Meanwhile, on that very same Saturday, the G-20 leaders concluded a two-day summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, after reaffirming their commitment “in favor of the foundations of free trade” and “economic growth”.

“We strive to create a free and fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trading and investment environment and to keep our markets open,” states the final statement of the Osaka summit. The leaders and representatives of the G-20 countries also stressed the need to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its functions and reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, host of the summit, called on leaders to send a powerful message, particularly on free trade, and to maintain a rules-based multilateral trading system.