Trade in USA-China: stalemate continues after talks in Beijing

The flags of the chinese and americans (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN. AFP)

Two days of negotiations in Beijing by a u.s. delegation of high-ranking did not unlock the significant commercial litigation between the United States and China, less than three weeks prior to the implementation of expected duties punitive damages by Washington.

“The delegation had candid discussions with chinese officials on the rebalancing of economic relations the bilateral United States/China, on the improvement of the protection of intellectual property and the identification of policies that lead to unfair practices in the transfer of technologies”, said the White House in a press release.

The delegation is, at present, on the way back to Washington where it will be there to brief Donald Trump in view of decisions to be made, she added.

“We’re going to meet tomorrow (Saturday, ed) to determine the results, but it is difficult for China in the sense that they have become very spoiled with victories on the us trade!”, tweeted Friday night, Mr. Trump.

Denouncing the huge United States deficit with China, the u.s. president had commissioned the u.s. secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to conduct negotiations with the communist regime and in an attempt to avoid a trade war between the two largest economies in the world.

The grip tightens as China is under threat, which could be realized as early as the 22nd of may, tariffs on some $ 50 billion of products exported to the United States. And Beijing has already said it is ready to replicate with taxes about $ 50 billion of u.s. products imported (soybean, automobiles, beef, etc.).

However, after the talks, “both sides recognised that there were differences significant enough on some issues,” laconically reported the state agency new China.

It is true that the Americans had set the bar very high, according to the detailed list of requirements passed to the chinese officials and the agency Bloomberg has reported the content.

– 200 billion –

In this document, presented as a starting point for negotiations, the administration Trump requires a reduction of”at least” $ 200 billion by the end of 2020 the deficit of the annual exchange with China ($375 billion by 2017, according to u.s. figures), against a target of 100 billion previously announced.

It would also require that tariffs in china are brought back to the level of the duties imposed by the United States as well as the removal of restrictions on u.s. investment.

Other requirements: the interruption of state subsidies to certain industrial sectors strategic ; the end of the technology transfers imposed on american firms and protections, strengthened intellectual property rights… as many tables on which to play Beijing, according to Washington, d.c., to promote its business and distort competition.

On the other hand, the Americans would appeal to the communist regime of “do not oppose, nor can you replicate” the imposition by the United States of restrictions blocking the access of China to american technologies deemed “critical”.

Conditions hardly acceptable in the state for the asian giant, which, according to Bloomberg, would have precisely called for “fair treatment” of technology firms chinese in the United States.

The american delegation, which also included the secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the Trade representative Robert Lighthizer, the economic adviser to the president Larry Kudlow and the one for trade Peter Navarro, met with the chinese vice Premier Liu He, a relative of the president Xi Jinping and great orchestrator of chinese economic policy.

“They have had open and frank discussions, an effective and constructive”, and the two countries “have agreed to stay in close communication” through “a working mechanism,” noted new China.

So far, the two parties only reached that”at some consensus on certain topics,” according to the state agency.

In general, the chinese media have remained highly secretive about the visit of the american delegation, the event of the day being the tribute paid by president Xi Jinping to Karl Marx for the bicentenary of his birth.

Before this trip, Washington had welcomed any apparent gestures of good will on the part of Beijing, Xi Jinping has promised at the beginning of April “a new phase of opening the economy and increasing access to medium term finance and automotive to foreign investors.

The Chinese “are perplexed”, led the Americans to intensify their pressure as they undertake reform, and they want to curb their dependence on american technologies, ” observes Zhang Monan, a researcher at the influential china Center for international economic exchanges.

The ambitious objectives of Beijing to create champions technological horizon 2025 further complicate the situation, as this plan has been called”scary” by Wilbur Ross, which denounces theft of intellectual property and the massive expense of the State.

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