The two-day ministerial-level negotiations between China and the United States, which prepared for the 13th round of trade talks in October for Liu He’s visit to the United States, ended in Washington on Friday (20th). On the first day of the negotiations, it was widely circulated that the Chinese side would visit the positive signals of several state farms in the United States next week, but the news of the cancellation was heard the next day. Although the two sides still indicated that the 13th round of negotiations will continue, Trump suddenly accused China of being a “world threat” and painted a very ugly end to the China-US cooperation.
A delegation led by Chinese Vice Minister of Finance Liao Wei arrived in the United States on Thursday (19th) to start negotiations with the US representative led by US Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish to prepare for the new round of negotiations in October.
Roller coaster general negotiation situation
Since Trump had previously scheduled to delay the implementation of the existing 25% increase in the 25% additional tariff on the US$250 billion of Chinese goods by 5% on October 1, to avoid China’s National Day, the Chinese On September 11th and 13th, the US agricultural products including soybeans, pork and other agricultural products, as well as some chemicals and drugs were exempted from additional tariffs. Although the outside world does not expect the trade war to solve for a while, they all think that a small-scale “interim agreement” is very It is possible to reach – perhaps China will exchange agricultural products with the United States to stop the exchange of tariffs, and Trump earlier said that the medium-term agreement is “considered.”
On the first day of negotiations on Thursday, the two sides focused on agricultural issues and joined the issues of intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer. Later, it was reported that Chinese officials led by Han Jun, deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, will visit farms in four states of the United States next week. Some commentators even believe that China will take the opportunity to sign some agricultural product procurement projects, thinking that the negotiations will be in October. paving.
In the normal market, when China-US relations showed signs of easing, agricultural organizations in Montana and other states reported on Friday that China had cancelled plans to visit the farm and was receiving Australian Prime Minister Morrison. (Scott Morrison) Trump suddenly denied the possibility of a medium-term agreement, pointing to him as long as the “complete agreement”, and said that he “does not need” to reach an agreement before the 2020 US election.
Since the outside world has always believed that the opportunity for the easing of China-US trade tensions is that Trump wants to produce some results before the election, the speech will immediately show a small shock, and the S&P 500 index fell by nearly 0.8%.
Although the US Trade Representative Office announced the 25% tariff exemption for 437 Chinese products on Friday, it seems to be a positive signal, and the US side also said that the meeting was “effective” after the meeting between China and the United States. The Chinese side also said that the meeting was “constructive”. However, the end of the China-US Deputy Ministerial Conference ended with a roller coaster-like downhill road, which seems to have cast a little shadow on future negotiations.
In the face of the Chinese bottom line, the United States has nothing to do?
The date of this article is the 443th day since the China-US trade war began with the United States adding tariffs. Since the Argentine General Meeting last year, people around the world have been sitting on roller coasters that have gone down and rushed around with the ups and downs of China-US trade negotiations and Trump’s Twitter tweets. Why is China and the United States still willing to stay on this mountain driveway that seems to have no end?
In fact, since the China-US May negotiations broke down, the United States has realized that China is not allowed to stick to its bottom line. After the United States has joined Huawei in the “list of entities”, China has been designated as a currency manipulator, and tariffs have been added, China is still unmoved.
Reuters quoted a person familiar with the matter on Saturday (21st), saying that Chinese representative Liao Wei continued to ask for the removal of all US additional tariffs as a condition for reaching an agreement during the meeting. Finally, the US had to admit that “we are not close to reaching an agreement.” “.”
In fact, the US has not insisted on China’s insistence at this moment, and there have been cases of retreat and loss. First, they found that adding tariffs or banned Huawei is a double-edged sword for American consumers and businesses. Therefore, the US has now provided two 90-day exemptions for the Huawei ban. It is hoped that Huawei suppliers in the United States and many small telecommunications companies using Huawei communication equipment will adapt as soon as possible; and, in order to avoid hitting domestic consumption and production in the United States, Some products have to be exempted from tariffs. For example, the US exemption list published on Friday has consumer goods such as wooden floors and Christmas lights, and it also complies with Apple’s 10 tariff exemption requests.
However, apart from tariffs and pressure on Chinese companies, the United States seems to have no other means to put pressure on China. Therefore, in the context that the United States cannot accept the bottom line of the Chinese side, the two sides can only talk about the issue of purchasing agricultural products, and it is difficult to advance in other substantive issues.
Negotiation table attraction
In these deadlocks, China and the United States still have not left the negotiating table for at least three reasons. First, China’s position has always been clear: when the bottom line of the principle is not touched, other contradictions that can be resolved can be discussed.
Second, Trump has yet to decide which road he will take for the 2020 election. It is good for him to choose an agreement with China before the election and continue to fight the trade to create a tough image of China. The question is which option has a big benefit, but it is still unclear. Therefore, there is no way to continue to talk about it in the deadlock.
Third, if China and the United States are determined to suspend negotiations and embark on a path of separation, the two countries and the world economy, which have already shown signs of downturn, will be greatly shocked. Therefore, at present, this “continue to talk, from time to time, sings well, but has no concrete results.” The situation seems to be the best way to ensure that the economy can softly land.
If there is no major change in the situation, “continuing negotiations” may itself be the goal of various negotiations in the short term between China and the United States. This may be the attraction of the negotiating table.