The most talked about even in the world economy, the U.S. – China trade talks were going fine when the Washington officials last talked. But, now U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the talks were in its final week, no matter the U.S. would be able to clinch a deal or not. It should be noted that the two largest economies of the world engaged in a trade war after President Trump imposed a higher tariff on Chinese exports worth over $200 billion. China also adopted a tit-for-tat approach and reciprocated tariff revision of U.S. goods worth of $110 billion.
However, the parties agreed to sit for negotiations, and there has not been much information about the status of the negotiations with respect to the on-going deal.
The United States is pressing China to change its domestic subsidy policies and alleged China of stealing Intellectual property with the help of forced technology transfer system. All these things gave China an upper hand in manipulating the foreign market. China has also been alleged of interfering in the foreign market with excessive participation in their private sectors. The allegations went on to currency manipulation as well.
“Our hope is we are in the final weeks of having an agreement,” Lighthizer, the top U.S. trade official, said during a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, though he cautioned that major issues remained.
“If those issues are not resolved in favor of the United States, we won’t have a deal.”
Lawmakers in the hearing asked Lighthizer whether Trump would maintain the tariff in case the two parties aren’t able to floor a deal. It should be noted that President Trump promised in his electoral campaign that we would do everything needed to balance the global trade arena and give the United States the due it deserves.
Lighthizer said that Chinese focus on the negotiations was moving and if that were a concession it would be debatable.
He also added that the United States is moving forward with a focus on Intellectual property rights and there have been talks of currency manipulations as well.
The progress in the negotiations was seemed to advance when Trump postponed the tariff hiking which was scheduled at March 2. The two leaders also met face-to-face for negotiating terms on the tariff. However, the officials from both nations have denied any possibility of another meeting between the two leaders of the negotiation nations.
Lighthizer and China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, talked to each other recently and the U.S. trade representative said that another meeting is scheduled on Wednesday during the Senate hearing.
U.S. Trade Representative also defended Trump’s action pressing its allies for WTO reform. The United States is reportedly negotiating for new rules for the WTO. Recently, Trump administration said that it would not allow any international organization to dictate trade policies and it defended pressing higher tariff on Chinese goods at WTO as well. The U.S. over the years has been alleging WTO judges’ of exceeding their mandate.
The “WTO is still largely operating under the same old playbook from the early 1990′s,” Lighthizer said in prepared remarks on Tuesday. He added that the United States had adopted the approach which would not hurt the organization but make it relevant for the current time.