JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) — There is still uncertainty over the United States (US) and China trade war. Today, US impose 25 percent tariff on US$200 billion Chinese goods.
The tariffs would target chemicals, building materials, furniture and some consumer electronics. Trump repeated a threat on Thursday to impose new 25 percent tariffs on US$325 billion of Chinese imports, which aren’t currently covered, saying that his administration has started preparing the paperwork.
Followed his decision, President Donald Trump said he would speak with China’ President Xi Jinping by phone, as Chinese delegation arrived in Washington DC to negotiate a potential trade deal. He said it after received a letter from Xi.
According to Trump, its still possible that the US and China could reach a deal this week. But hours after, he changed, insisted a trade deal with China was still possible to reach this week, even as he reiterated plans to raise tariffs on Chinese goods within hours. He also said that he may hold a phone call with Xi.
China’ top trade envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, has arrived in Washington DC on Thursday afternoon for two days of trade talks. He will have discussions with US Trade Representatives Robert Lighthizer.
Liu arrived in Washington with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’ two largest economies. The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core US demands.
Reuters reported, China had deleted its commitments in each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the US to launch a trade war. Then, theft of US intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers, competition policy, access to financial services, and currency manipulation.
Last week, Liu told Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they needed to trust China to fulfill its pledges through administrative and regulatory changes, two of the sources said. Both Mnuchin and Lighthizer considered that unacceptable, given China’ history of failing to fulfill reform pledges. One private-sector source briefed on the talks said the last round of negotiations had gone very poorly because China got greedy.
“China reneged on a dozen things, if not more … The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” the source said.
Amid the tension, US trade deficit with China hit its five-year low. The US Commerce Department reported that its goods trade deficit with China in March fell by 16.2 percent to $20.7 billion, the lowest level since March 2014. US imports from China decreased by 6.1 percent, while its exports jumped by 23.6 percent.
The US – China uncertainty has given a hit to Indonesian currency. Rupiah against US dollar dropped by 0.23 percent and reached its lowest position since January 4. Yesterday Rupiah ended at 14,350 over the Greenback.
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