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16 December, 2018 08:46:06 AM
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Trump says ‘big’ China deal possible after US pressure

AFP, Washington
Trump says ‘big’ China deal possible after US pressure
President Donald Trump on Friday predicted a major US-China trade deal in the near future, saying that Beijing’s negotiating position had been weakened by the impact of the tariffs war between the world’s top two economies. AFP photo

President Donald Trump on Friday predicted a major US-China trade deal in the near future, saying that Beijing’s negotiating position had been weakened by the impact of the tariffs war between the world’s top two economies. “China wants to make a big and very comprehensive deal. It could happen, and rather soon!” Trump tweeted.

His optimism followed China’s decision earlier Friday to back off from extra punitive duties that had been imposed this summer on US-made cars and auto parts. The move was seen as the first concrete result of the US leader’s G20 talks with his counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this month.

Those tariffs now fall from 40 percent to 15 percent—the same rate imposed on all foreign-made vehicles. The relief will last for three months from January 1.

“Suspension of the tariffs is a concrete measure to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state,” said the announcement by the State Council’s Tariff Commission Office, noting it applied to 211 product codes.

Trump said the climbdown showed that China had been forced to blink in their on-off spat, after months of heavy US tariffs on Chinese imports.

“China just announced that their economy is growing much slower than anticipated because of our Trade War with them. They have just suspended U.S. Tariff Hikes. U.S. is doing very well,” Trump said.

Beijing’s move also demonstrated that talks to resolve the trade conflict have survived the tension sparked by Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese telecom executive at the behest of US law enforcement.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecoms behemoth Huawei, has been released on bail in Canada. China wants her unconditional release. Washington wants her extradited for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran.

China apparently retaliated by detaining two Canadians on suspicion of “harm to national security”—a phrase often used by Beijing when alleging espionage.

Washington insists that the case is driven purely by the US Justice Department, rather than anything to do with the trade dispute, but Trump has muddied the waters by suggesting he might intervene if that would help the trade talks.

BK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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