Monday, 18 March, 2019


Top China Trade Official Makes Surprise Stop at U.S. Trade Meetings

Members of the U.S. trade delegation to China are shown returning from talks to a hotel in Beijing on Monday Members of the U.S. trade delegation to China are shown returning from talks to a hotel in Beijing on Monday
Conrad Doyle | 09 January, 2019, 10:29

The US smartphone maker has felt the pinch of the bruising trade spat, and warned that 2018 revenues would miss its forecast - in large part due to a slump in iPhone sales in China.

The trade clash reflects American anxiety about China's rise as a potential competitor in telecommunications and other technology.

In May 2018, the United States declared that it would begin to increase the frequency of FONOP operations in the South China Sea to "confront" China for actions that Washington deems to "be out of step with global law".

China has lodged "stern representations" with the United States over a US navy vessel sailing through the disputed South China Sea, as US officials joined trade talks in Beijing to seek a de-escalation in the Sino-US trade war.

After these discussions, Trump is expected to hold talks with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to the South China Morning Post.

In return, Trump promised to wait 90 days before hiking tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports - the three-month timeline is indented to give both breathing room to cement a detailed agreement.

China's foreign ministry on Monday confirmed that Wang would deliver a keynote speech at Davos, though didn't confirm any plans for him to meet Trump.

The Trump administration is dealing with an increasingly strong China that has its own pressing needs, said the Global Times, which is published by the ruling Communist Party.

He and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed December 1 to postpone more tariff hikes on each other's goods for 90 days while they negotiate. He is pushing to address concerns of China's alleged theft of intellectual property and market-access barriers, as well as to demand structural economic reforms.

The U.S. trade delegation includes Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert B. Kaplan, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, and Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass. Economists say that is too little time to resolve a laundry list of irritants in trade relations.

Still, cooling economic growth in both countries is increasing pressure to reach a settlement. Weak real estate sales are forcing developers to cut prices.

There was no immediate USA response to the Chinese complaint.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is at a five-decade low.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the two sides were narrowing their differences, with Chinese officials offering greater purchases of U.S. goods and services and Cabinet-level follow-up meetings expected later this month. "We will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard our national sovereignty and security".

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