• Alexander Liu-Middleton

The latest on America and Trump’s trade war with China

The latest on America and Trump’s trade war with China

The most recent round of US-China discussions wrapped up in Beijing with United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling the conferences "productive.” Discussions will carry on in Washington.

Mr Mnuchin stated "Ambassador Lighthizer and I have just concluded productive meetings with China's Vice Premier Liu He. We will continue our talks in Washington, DC next week,"


America has ramped up pressure to reach a trade deal with China soon, cautioning that the US is primed to walk away from the discussions if it needs to.

US President Donald Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that the outcome will be known soon "one way or the other".

As the advanced trade meetings between China and the US got underway in Beijing, China took another step in opening its US$44 trillion economic sector to the world, declaring plans to eliminate limits on ownership in local banks and scrap size necessities for international firms that function onshore.

Amongst the changes, foreign insurance groups will be permitted to set up units in the world's second-biggest economy.


These procedures are an incremental step along the track to opening up China's financial system; months after overseas companies were allowed majority stakes in resident securities joint ventures.

This move came as the Trump administration admitted growing impatience after four months of intense discussions, fluctuating from mostly positive messaging about the prospect of a agreement to end their trade war that has given rise to in tariffs on US$360 billion of each other's imports.


Mr Mulvaney said at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. "It won't go on forever," "At some point in any negotiation you go, 'we're close to getting something done so we're going to keep going.' On the other hand, at some point you throw up your hands and say 'this is never going anywhere.'"

Following the next two rounds, US officials hope to "either recommend to the president we have a deal or make a recommendation that we don't,"

A breakdown of discussions might reverse impetus in the US and China, dousing hopes that the global economy might be able to shake off trade-war risks.

China’s representative Mr Liu had entertained his US guests just after they arrived in the Chinese capital. "We had a nice working dinner, thank you," Mr Mnuchin told reporters at his Beijing hotel when asked if he had met with Mr Liu.

Beijing and Washington have mentioned improvement on subjects including intellectual property and forced technology transfer to help finish a conflict distinct by tit-for-tat tariffs that have cost both sides billions of dollars, disturbed supply chains and agitated financial markets.

US officials say privately that an implementation mechanism for a deal and timelines for lifting tariffs are sticking points.

Chinese officials have also recognised that they view the implementation mechanism as critical, but say that it must work two ways and cannot put limits only on China.


In Washington, people familiar with the talks say that the question of whether and when US tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods will be removed will probably be among the last issues to be resolved.

President Trump has said that he may keep some tariffs on Chinese goods for a "substantial period".

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