Is US really ‘in no rush’ to make a trade deal with China?

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/14 21:26:46

Is US really ‘in no rush’ to make a deal with China?


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US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was "in no rush" to make a trade deal with China, but we don't believe it.

Trump's tough stance comes in the wake of increased concerns expressed by US society over the trade row with China. It is understandable Trump doesn't want China to know he is under pressure and what his bottom line is in the negotiations. 

Trump will probably use this stance to maintain maximum pressure on China, forcing Beijing to make its biggest concession at the last moment of the trade talks. For a businessman like Trump, this negotiation strategy is typical. We believe Chinese officials can easily see through this.

Despite Trump's tough stance, many in the US are in a rush to complete a trade pact with China in a bid to end the trade war. According to a survey released in December by The Wall Street Journal, nearly half of the economists surveyed cited the trade war as the top threat to the US economy in 2019, the highest percentage of any single threat. The US' trade war with China has had many casualties, which are exerting invisible pressure on the bilateral trade talks.

In 2018, Chinese foreign direct investment in the US plummeted by 83 percent year-on-year, according to a report released by law firm Baker McKenzie. As Trump escalated the trade war with China, tighter scrutiny reduced the sources of investment for US companies, especially those in high-tech industries in Silicon Valley.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said recently in an interview with CNN that "If this US administration always treats other countries, companies or individuals in a ferocious way, then no one would dare invest in the US."

Technologies and investments can be divided by the Trump administration into two different sets - the West and China - but US companies don't want money to be labeled by nationality and ideology.

The trade war is making life harder for not only the country's super-rich but also ordinary farmers. Any US official who listens to public opinion should have understood the urgency of completing a trade pact with China. We believe the Trump administration has a willingness to negotiate with Beijing and make a deal.

The Chinese side has shown its sincerity in negotiations. If Washington's demands are in line with the direction of China's efforts to further open up its economy, it will be easier for the two sides to make a deal. China and the US still have a chance to seek common ground in the trade talks to end the trade row.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn
Newspaper headline: Is US really ‘in no rush’ to make a deal with China?


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