Trade war: negotiations between the United States and China

Guerre commerciale: n√©gociations entre les √Čtats-Unis et la Chine

Photo: Fred Dufour Archives Agence France-Presse
The chinese authorities and the us started on Monday talks aimed at bringing an end to the war of the tariffs between the two countries.

The chinese authorities and the us started on Monday talks aimed at bringing an end to the war of the tariffs between the two largest economies in the world, at a time when Beijing denounced the presence of an american war ship in chinese waters.

We do not know if the controversy concerning the vessel of war might disrupt the discussions at the ministry of Commerce of china. The two sides have provided little information on the discussions.

Both sides have expressed their optimism about the potential progress in the resolution of their conflict in tariff in the face of the ambitions and technology of Beijing. However, none of the two has indicated that its position had changed since the agreement entered into on 1 December by the presidents, Donald Trump, and Xi Jinping to postpone further increases.

The spokesperson of the chinese ministry of foreign Affairs, Lu Kang, said on Monday during a briefing of routine of military aircraft and war ships the chinese had been sent to identify the ship american and told to leave the area near the islands in the disputed south China sea.

There was no immediate comment from the United States on the subject of the complaint of the China.

The american delegation is headed by the american representative of the trade, Jeffrey D. Gerrish. The delegation includes officials of the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Commerce, Treasury and State.

The talks will continue despite the tensions related to the arrest in Canada of the chief financial officer of the chinese company Huawei, according to us accusations related to possible violations of the trade sanctions against Iran.

Tariffs and retaliation

Mr. Trump has imposed increases of customs duties of up to 25 % on chinese imports amounting to 250 billion US $in the wake of complaints against Beijing, which intimiderait companies to get their technology. China has reacted by imposing fines on 110 billion US $ in american goods, by slowing down the release of u.s. firms and suspending the issuance of licences in the sectors of finance, and others.

Economists estimate that the postponement of 90 days the rate increases scheduled to come into force on the 1st January may be too short to resolve the disputes that undermine the relations between the usa and china.

But the slowdown in economic growth in the two countries increases the pressure to reach a settlement.

The chinese growth has fallen to 6.5 % after the global crisis and ended in the month of September. The motor vehicle sales fell 16% in November compared to the previous year. The weak real estate sales force sponsors to reduce their prices.

The u.s. economy has experienced an average annual growth of 3.4 % in the third quarter and the unemployment rate has reached its lowest level for five years. However, surveys show that consumer confidence is starting to weaken, fearing that the growth to slow this year.


Washington, Europe and other trading partners complain that the tactics of Beijing violating its obligations to open markets.

This impasse also reflects the concern of the Americans in the face of the rise of China as a potential competitor in the telecommunications and other technologies. Mr Trump hopes that Beijing reverses its initiatives to create china’s leaders in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence.

China’s leaders see such strategies as a path to greater prosperity and a global influence and has tried to defuse the complaints, stressing the potential of the country as a vast consumer market.

They have also promised to allow more foreign access to industries in the automotive, finance and others.

Beijing has tried in vain to recruit the France, Germany, South Korea and other governments as allies against Mr. Trump, but they echoed the complaints of the United States about industrial policy and the barriers of the chinese market.

For their part, the chinese authorities are not satisfied with the restrictions imposed by the United States to the export of technologies to “dual-use” with possible military applications. They complain that chinese companies are treated unfairly in reviews of the national security of the proposed acquisitions, while almost all transactions were approved without change.

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