High-level trade talks between US and China likely to end without deal

High-level trade talks between US and China likely to end without deal

Top-level trade talks between US and Chinese trade representatives are scheduled to conclude today in Beijing. A self-imposed March 1

us china trade talks beiijng

Photo: Reuters

Top-level trade talks between US and Chinese trade representatives are scheduled to conclude today in Beijing.

A self-imposed March 1 deadline looms—if the world’s top two economies do not reach a deal on intellectual property, the trade deficit and other key issues before this date, Washington says it will raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.

It is fairly unlikely that any substantial agreement will be reached in time, although a 60-day extension of the deadline to reach a comprehensive deal is probable.

Mr Trump’s aggressive trade policies have catered to the manufacturing labour interests that largely contributed to his 2016 election victory in several key swing states. However, while his hawkish stances towards China remain popular among his base, the effects of the trade war could begin to show in US consumer prices and economic growth. Evidence suggests a decline in Chinese exports due to tariffs is already slowing Chinese growth, and this could be transmitted to the US economy.

Mr Trump will face mounting pressure for a “comprehensive deal” to bolster his foreign policy record ahead of the 2020 presidential election. A deal, comprehensive or otherwise, is thus possible later this year, especially if the deadline is extended today.

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