Xi Trade Summit May Slip to December, Be Outside US

Marco Green
November 8, 2019

"If China and the USA reach a phase one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously", South China Morning Post quoted Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesman Gao Feng.

"If China [and the] United States reach a "phase one" deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously based on the content of the agreement, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement", he said.

The U.S. -China trade war that Trump began has been a drag on both nation's economies, and the leaders had initially expected to take a step toward resolving it ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections at an worldwide summit in Chile this month.

People familiar with the negotiations said on Monday that China has been pushing Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of the first phase of the deal.

Last month, the USA leader met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, leading the two countries to agree to a "phase one" deal that includes China's purchase of $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, as well as guidelines on intellectual property. Though worst quarterly figures since 1992, it is still within 6.0-6.5% annual target.

The two sides hope to resolve issues of core concern in an equal and mutually respectful manner, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

"Nevertheless, we do expect a phase-one deal to be struck soon, which means that things are moving in the right direction", he said.

He did not give a timeline.

Beijing's signal that a "phase 1" trade deal with the United States was close to being sealed helped Europe's share markets hit a more than 4-year peak on Thursday and bond yields shuffled higher. Reuters has quoted sources as saying Washington has still not made a final decision. They are also seeking relief from earlier 25% tariffs on about $250 billion of imports from machinery and semiconductors to furniture.

Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in a bruising trade battle for 18 months, with punitive tariffs slapped on two-way trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were initially set to meet during the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit starting November 16, bit the summit was canceled in late October due to protests in Chile following a proposed hike in the country's public transportation fares.

U.S. President Donald Trump had accused China of stealing ideas originating from the U.S. via patent infringement. Trump remains upbeat on the chances Beijing and Washington will seal the mini-deal he announced earlier this month - marking a cooling-off period in the two nations' damaging trade war.

Mr. Trump and Xi were due to meet at this month's gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile but that event was canceled due to protests there.

One possible location is London, where the two leaders could meet after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit that Trump is due to attend from December 3-4, the official said. Gao said he had no further information on the location or timing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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