Mixed Feelings Arise as Trump Delays Tariff Increase on Chinese Goods

A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday Feb. 26 2019. Most Asian share benchmarks are lower as a rally spurred by the Trump administration's decision to hold off on incr

"Trump has now substantially ratcheted up the pressure on his negotiators to strike a deal with China, even if it does little to assuage US hard-liners' concerns about China's commitments on core structural issues", said Cornell University China expert Eswar Prasad.

That is why President Trump should use the imminent trade deal with China to, as much as possible, take the Green New Deal off the table by pushing Beijing to meet up with USA environmental regulations, eliminating China's regulatory cost advantage and defining it as a non-tariff barrier to trade under the new agreement.

President Trump is doing what was once thought impossible by closing in on a deal with China on trade and for now, he has postponed increasing tariffs while the final terms of the agreement are hammered out. On Sunday, the president did not indicate a new date on which he might potentially impose the additional tariffs.

Trump had threatened a 10 percent to 25 percent increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, The Associated Press reported.

But many questions remain about the prospects for a deal that would unwind the tariffs already slapped by both sides on billions of dollars of each other's goods. Trump tweeted on Sunday that he would be delaying an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods, promising a Mar-a-Lago summit with China's President Xi Jinping.

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association did not comment on the delay, but said it continued to monitor the situation.

The president did not set a new deadline for the talks to conclude, but he told USA state governors gathered at the White House that there could be "very big news over the next week or two" if all went well in the negotiations. China had all but halted purchases of US soybeans, which were the single biggest USA agricultural export, worth around $12 billion in 2017.

A man and a woman walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday Feb. 26 2019. Most Asian share benchmarks are lower as a rally spurred by the Trump administration's decision to hold

On Twitter, Trump said the two sides had made headway on issues including protection of trade secrets, forced technology transfer and US agricultural sales to China.

US equity futures and major stock indexes in Shanghai and Europe jumped on the news early Monday morning.

"If all works well, we're going to have some very big news over the next week or two", Trump told American governors at a White House ball.

But Trump still wasn't pleased, disagreeing with his U.S. trade representative in front of reporters.

China's negotiators stayed for the weekend and the two sides discussed the thorny issue of how to enforce a potential trade deal on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the talks.

Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that the two sides are starting to sketch out an agreement on structural issues, drafting language for six memorandums of understanding on proposed Chinese reforms. -China technology competition will impact the trade talks.

"I have strong hopes that the two largest economies will be able to bridge their differences and reach a constructive agreement", said Carla A. Hills, chairman and CEO of Hills & Company, International Consultants, a Washington-based advisory firm on trade and investment.




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