The leading Chinese envoy for trade talks, currently in Washington has termed the current failure to reach a deal as a minor setback and that negotiations are still on. This is despite the announcement that Chinese imports would be subject to additional tariffs.
Before leaving for Washington, Vice Premier of China, Lie He stated that he was optimistic that talks would smooth everything out and end the crisis. He added that any deal would need the Trump-led administration to roll back the tariff hikes it imposed recently.
Liu was reported as saying that all other differences were majorly principle in nature. He was prepared not to lose any ground when it came to defending his stance on principle matters.
However, he believed that the talks were far from having broken down and that this was merely a minor setback. A final deal is inevitable, he said.
Steve Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary stated that there weren’t any talks scheduled with China currently or later down the road. Terming the talks conducted this week as merely constructive in nature, he confirmed that nothing is final as of now.
Trump has raised tariffs by over 15% on goods worth $300B imported annually from China. This covers almost everything the US imports from China, with peak tariff rates hitting 25%. Robert Lighthizer, the present Trade Representative said the US was already taking steps in this direction.
Trump tweeted that the tariffs may stay or go, depending on the outcome of the talks. Lie held that tariffs were a major source of friction and ought to be removed if a successful deal is to be reached. Both countries were also disagreeing on the value of goods pledged to be purchased China from the US to balance the trade deficit.
Liu stated that his country was strong enough to face any situation and that the current fiasco was nothing more than a minor dispute, which was why it wasn’t overreacting to the events.