US - China agreed to continue "high level" trade negotiations in Washington early September - Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The United States (US) and China have not yet reached the “final vocabulary” in the 12th round of trade negotiations in Shanghai this week, according to the White House statement released July 31. The uncertainty marked the two sides’ stubbornness to reconcile so the negotiators agreed to continue “high level” trade negotiations in Washington in early September.

At the first direct trade talks since the G-20, the two sides carried out “deep, honest, efficient and constructive exchanges” on key economic and trade issues. China itself confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of US agricultural exports, adding that the two sides also discussed topics such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture.

Unfortunately, amid talks, President Donald Trump released a series of statements criticizing China’ trade practices, claiming that the country did not buy more US agricultural products as agreed after he met Xi Jinping in Japan. Trump accused China of making very bad trade in 27 years. For Trump, that is the main issue why negotiations have never reached an agreement.

In addition, he alleged that China might be awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election, as analysts and Chinese government officials had earlier said, saying that China could wait until the 2020 elections and hope Trump relaxed his stance to attract a Democratic majority.

In his statement, Trump stressed that China would be more difficult to reach an agreement if he returned to win the election, or there was no agreement at all.

Trump and Xi Jinping reached a ceasefire in June at the G-20 summit in Osaka, after trade talks collapsed in May that pushed sharp US tariff increases on US$200 billion in Chinese goods. The Trump administration also included Huawei Technologies. Inc., blacklist, forcing US companies to cut ties with it.

China then said the agreement would not be reached unless the existing tariff was revoked. However, the second largest economy in the world showed a goodwill to reach an agreement, cause Shanghai has a special historical record between the two countries.

Forty-seven years ago, this was where the Shanghai Communique was issued, marking the end of 22 years of isolation and the beginning of the normalization of relations between China and the US. All parties hope that China and US will continue the spirit of the Shanghai Communique, resolve the differences through dialogue rather than confrontation and find the right way to get along with each other through win-win cooperation.

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