Economy

Mix-messages on next round of talks on US-China trade war

Mix-messages on next round of talks on US-China trade war

But China will not buckle to USA demands in any trade negotiations, the major state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial on Friday, after Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington for a new round of talks.

Christopher McNally, an adjunct senior fellow at the East-West Centre in Hawaii, said the Trump administration may seek a deal on the trade war before the elections, though he cautioned that the USA president could easily throw out any negotiated settlement if he felt it did not "help him politically or doesn't go far enough, doesn't make him look good enough".

"With the $200 billion round of tariffs looming, this is probably the best time for the USA to go back to the table with a "take it or leave it" type of trade demand", Robert Carnell, the chief Asia-Pacific economist at investment bank ING, said in a note.

The announcement followed reports by American and European chambers of commerce that foreign companies in China have been hurt by earlier tariff hikes by both sides in the fight over Beijing's technology policy.

Asked if the Trump administration would like to have additional trade talks with China, Kudlow said: "If they come to the table in a serious way to generate some positive results, yes of course".

Mr Kudlow told Fox Business News on Wednesday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "has apparently issued an invitation".

Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those plans violate China's market-opening commitments.

Every year, the USA imports $500 billion worth of goods from China, while it ships only one-third of that amount to the East Asian country.

It was unclear whether any U.S.

"Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing", he wrote.

Trump imposed his first phase of tariffs this summer on $50 billion of Chinese goods, including high-end technology parts and manufactured goods, while Beijing fired back dollar-for-dollar at USA soybeans, autos and other farm goods.

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More than 60% of USA companies polled said the US tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said Chinese duties on USA goods were having an impact on business.

The U.S. -China Business Council (USCBC), a nonpartisan non-profit representing around 200 American companies, told Observer that, in recent weeks, the council has been hearing from U.S. companies about delays and challenges getting licensing approvals in China.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing".

"This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting US companies and the imposition of a proposed $200-billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", said Eric Zheng, chairman of AmCham Shanghai.

China has also warned it could unleash "qualitative" measures, which US business groups have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stalled visas and other red-tape headaches.

The US and China have slapped tariffs on $50bn of one another's goods this year in an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Envoys from the two countries last met August 22 in Washington but reported no progress.

China's Commerce Ministry said both sides would want to avoid escalation.

But US firms are feeling whiplash from both sides as they sell and make goods in China, with Washington's border tax increase and Beijing's counter-punch hurting more than 60% of businesses, according to the poll.

The Journal reported that the US reached out because of political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights ahead of November's midterm elections.

A day earlier, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.