US and China in painstaking efforts to conclude trade talks

US President Donald Trump is joined by United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Cabinet members and White House senior advisers, as he meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu HeThursday, April 4, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House, following continued U.S.–China trade talks. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

China and the United States are working hard to achieve a trade deal, badly needed for both the two largest economies of the globe as well as for the rest of the world. During the past months of negotiations between the two giants, progress or confrontation in the dealings have been strongly – positively or depressingly – influencing all and every market, including stocks and commodities. As a matter of fact, the long and painstaking efforts of Washington and Beijing to come up with a viable deal are proof that the two sides have perfect awareness of how important it is to succeed.

In the latest developments, last Friday, in Washington, the two negotiating teams concluded their latest round of negotiations. Although no final deal was reached, the fact that President Donald Trump termed the meeting as “a success”, is a strong indication that the White House vies for a positive conclusion of the lengthy procedure. By the same token, the US President also said that “a deal could be announced in the next four weeks”.

Encouraging signs

One more encouraging indication is that the two teams agreed to continue working together this week. Chinese media reported that “new progress” was achieved in Washington. The two teams are headed by the highest possible trade authorities. The Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was in the US capital for a three day visit, having successive meetings with U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, and the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin.

However, Lighthizer’s office said in a statement “Significant work remains”. It also explained though, “…the principals, deputy ministers, and delegation members will be in continuous contact to resolve outstanding issues”. On top of that, Lighthizer’s statement also informed about the issues the two teams negotiated upon. It clarified “The negotiations included intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases and enforcement”.

Trumpism fades before China

It’s obvious, then, the White House under Trump has understood how deeply rooted the US business and wider economic and otherwise relations are. As it is immensely difficult, if not impossible, for Britain to leave the EU’s customs union and internal market, it is also equally unimaginable for the US to freeze its ties with China.

Like it or not, this is an irrevocably deeply interrelated world. Trump’s rhetoric against the Chinese imports was some kind of easy and soothing tale for some ears, but proved to entail dangerous negative repercussions for a lot of Americans. The damage to the US economy from a trade war with China would have been immeasurable. So, Washington had to back off from its aggressive verbalism.

“No let-up here”

The decisiveness with which the two sides conducted the negotiations was revealed by what the high ranking White House advisor, Larry Kudlow, had to say. He stressed “There’s no let-up here, this is an ongoing process”. He also added, “Those (issues as mentioned by Lighthizer) are of course in the middle of the negotiations that are ongoing, but we’ve come further and farther than ever before.”

This newspaper, for quite some time, has been estimating a successful conclusion of the US-China trade talks. At the end of February it published “The Sino-American trade conflict may be resolved soon”. Unquestionably, the matter proved to be much more serious than Trump thought.

America’s multi-polar power structure won’t be derailed by his nonsense;.US capitalism has been investing in China even since the times of John Davison Rockefeller Sr.

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