Firms welcome China-US trade consensus, but negotiations pose uncertainties

By Shen Weiduo Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/2 20:30:05

China-US summit talks positive, but uncertainties remain

A model of Tesla being displayed during Shanghai import expo in November. Photo: VCG

Chinese and US business representatives expressed relief about the truce on trade tariffs reached by the two countries' leaders on Saturday, but experts warned that some uncertainties remain.

Top leaders from China and the US met on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina and agreed to take measures to ease bilateral trade tension and maintain close contact. The two sides had very "positive and constructive" discussions over trade and economic issues and agreed not to impose additional tariffs, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

Working teams on both sides will follow the guidance of the consensus reached between the two leaders and step up negotiations toward the removal of all additional tariffs so as to reach a mutually beneficial agreement at an early date, said the report.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump since Trump's visit to China in November 2017. Xu Hongcai, an economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that the outcome is undoubtedly an inspiring one for businesses in both countries. Deepening cooperation will bring more confidence to the global economy as well, Xu noted.

The American Chamber of Commerce also said in a statement it sent to the Global Times on Sunday that the meeting results were "as good as we could have expected" considering  the  many and complex issues involved in the two countries' bilateral trade relations.

"This is the most exciting news for US companies like us who are conducting economic and trade cooperation with our Chinese counterparts. This will further promote our cooperation level," said Sherman Ge, a representative of US-based company Metal Shark Boats, which designs and builds custom vessels for commercial and defense purposes.

"We are delighted to see that China-US economic and trade relations are heading in a positive direction, which will further promote the common development of enterprises on both sides," a spokesperson for Lenovo told the Global Times on Sunday.

Deals restarted

Meanwhile, some Chinese manufacturers that rely on exports said that talks on restarting deals with their US customers have already started following the upbeat news.

Ji Zhanghua, the owner of Zhanghua Garment Company in Yiwu, East China's Zhejiang Province, said that some US customers had contacted him to talk about more deals for next month. US retailers are facing difficulties in finding replacements for clothes made in Yiwu that offer the same quality and reasonable prices, Ji said.

Chen Liang, general manager of Dongguan Jinconn New Material Holdings Co, a private company focused on production and processing of magnets, said that his business partners "are very excited about the good outcome of the trade talks."

Jinconn's clients are home appliance makers whose main market is the US, according to Chen, who also said that since the China-US trade war started in March his company had lost orders worth 10 million yuan ($1.44 million).

However, Xu cautioned that "there are still more detailed issues waiting for the two sides to resolve in the coming days. But I would say it's a good start."

Geng Bo, vice secretary-general of the China Solid State Lighting Alliance, a semiconductor industry association, agreed with Xu, saying that he held an attitude of "cautious optimism" toward the upcoming talks.

"Chinese LED products have been included in the 25 percent tariff list imposed by the US. If the tariffs can be reduced through future negotiations, it would be good news for our industry. But given the capricious attitude of the US government, it seems that there are still many uncertainties ahead."
Newspaper headline: Businesses welcome trade truce


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