They’re locked in a trade war, but the U.S. and China are to start talking to each other officially again. A Chinese delegation is due to visit the U.S later this month. But as CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports, expectations are low.
The last time Washington and Beijing tried to settle their trade differences with official talks was in May, when a delegation led by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Secretaries and the U.S. Trade Representative visited Beijing.
Two months later, U.S. President Donald Trump fired the first shot in a trade war with America’s most important partner, tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports to punish Beijing for what Washington deems harmful trade practices.
China denies this and responded with duties the same amount on U.S. goods-with the two prepared to hit each other even harder. Now, a breakthrough: a Chinese delegation will visit Washington D.C. later this month for low-level talks with treasury department officials-though Beijing is clearly wary.
“On May 19, the two sides have reached a consensus, but on May 29, the U.S. abandoned the consensus. In early June, the two sides agreed to energy and agriculture cooperation, but on June 15, the U.S. abandoned the consensus again. On July 6, the U.S. launched the trade war, and it got worse on July 11,” Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesperson Gao Feng said.
Trump is expected to impose duties on another $16 billion of Chinese imports on August 23, with China poised to retaliate in kind, and for now he appears to be keeping up the pressure.
“China isn’t really happy with what I’m doing on trade, but we have no other choice as a country. We had to do something. They understand that. In fact, I think they’re in a state of shock that they have been able to get away with it for so long-for so many decades,” Trump said.
But at least these two trade partners who depend on each other are prepared to talk to each other again.
Chen Zhao on the upcoming US-China trade talksE
CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Chen Zhao, the chief global strategist for Alpine Macro, an independent investment research firm. He asked what Zhao expects from the upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China.