US business insiders welcome progress on US-China trade talks

American businesses in China see gloomy year

In a release from the American Soybean Association, president Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Clinton, KY, said, "We are glad that talks between these two countries will continue without the tariff hike previously expected at the 90-day deadline later this week, but we need resolution and are discouraged that it's still hard to see a tangible end in sight".

But as the March 1 deadline drew closer, Trump appeared increasingly eager to make a deal, saying on several occasions that he might extend the deadline, causing concerns among trade watchers that he was eroding Lighthizer's leverage in the talks.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China also said that over the past year substantially more of its members want the USA government to push Beijing harder to create a level playing field for US businesses.

Describing the trade progress as "good news" for both businesses and families, Josh Selig, president of Little Airplane Productions, a New York City-based TV production firm, also expressed optimism about future U.S.

The US is set to increase tariffs on $200bn (€176.3bn) of Chinese imports to 25pc from 10pc.

The arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and the daughter of the company's founder and president Ren Zhengfei, has been viewed as a nadir in trade relations between China and the West.

President Trump says he and China's President will plan a Summit in the U.S.to conclude an agreement if both sides make additional progress.




"What we've really looked at in China are those companies focused on the domestic growth story, which I think is a much more exciting story than trying to find the export companies selling into lower-growth developed markets", she said. Lighthizer has always been a hardliner when it comes to confronting China's trade practices.

In a tweet on February 24, 2019, the USA president said the developments are related to "important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency and many other issues". The Trump administration has said it might ban Huawei products over a 2017 Chinese law that obligates its companies to assist in intelligence gathering as Wanzhou waits to see whether she will be extradited to the US for allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran.

"It is important for each side to listen carefully to the other and to develop a win-win outcome", Hills, also a former USA trade representative from 1989 to 1993, told Xinhua.

Recent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration have cost USA businesses 2.7 billion US dollars in November 2018 alone, according to data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign backed by the Washington-based National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association.

"A growing number of companies are hedging their bets", the report said.

The American chamber's European counterpart has reported similar unease among its members and reluctance to invest. It said nearly half of companies surveyed believe Chinese policies are enforced differently against them and local rivals.

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