China vs USA. Truce. First round completed

China vs USA.  Truce.  First round completed

US China Trade. Jeffrey D. Gerrish

Before the start of trade negotiations between America and China, it was assumed that they would last two days. However, delegations from Washington and Beijing decided to extend their duration and stayed in the Chinese capital for another day. According to the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Lu Kahn, the extension of the talks indicates the seriousness of the intentions of their participants, and first of all, China.

Negotiators have not yet issued official statements, but according to the information leaked to the press, the delegation went home in good spirits, bringing the positions even closer on important issues such as energy and agriculture.

The general tone after the end of the three-day talks is optimistic, but before the signing of the agreement, which formally ends the trade war between the two main economies of the world, which has already shaken the global economy, is still far away. The most desperate optimists admit that the January round of talks in Beijing, while bringing together the positions of Washington and Beijing on a number of important issues, on other equally important ones, further alienated them from each other.

Disagreements remain on a number of structural issues. They will have to be solved at the next round of negotiations, at which the level of participants will be higher. It is expected that in the second half of January, US Trade Representative Robert Lightheiser will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Chief Economic Adviser to the President of China Xi Jinping, who heads the Chinese delegation. Liu briefly appeared at the talks on the first day, on Monday, but did not take part in the negotiation process itself. The main task of his appearance in the hall was to create the impression among journalists and, of course, the American delegation that Beijing is extremely interested in achieving a result and is ready to go for it.

It was the first meeting between the American and Chinese delegations after the meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on December 1, 2018 at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where they agreed on a 90-day truce in trade war and the resumption of negotiations.

Before the start of the Beijing round of negotiations, China made a number of concessions in goodwill. In particular, the PRC government temporarily canceled tariffs on American cars, resumed purchases of American soybeans, promised to open Chinese markets for foreign investments and prepared a draft law to combat the transfer or actual theft of high technologies.

Washington and Beijing must reach agreement before March 1, 2019. Otherwise, the United States will raise tariffs for dozens of Chinese goods and products from 10 to 25%, which in total will «pour out” into 200 billion dollars.

The optimistic end of the negotiations and the hopes for reaching an agreement became a powerful impetus for the markets and, above all, for the Asian markets, which soared to the greatest heights in the last three weeks. Thus, the growth of the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index and the Japanese Topix was 1%. Twice as much — Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2%.
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