China is honoring trade deal; it’s the US’ turn

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/19 22:27:04

Chinese and US trade officials are set to make another attempt at striking a trade deal to defuse an increasingly bruising trade war that has rattled global markets and presented mounting challenges to both economies. Photo: VCG

Beijing on Thursday released a new list of US goods that will be exempted from China's first round of additional tariffs on US products. The Chinese side has taken a practical stance on ending the trade war. The US should make a positive response.

Although China and the US provided little detail on what exactly will be part of the phase one trade deal, the agreement itself reached last week means the trade war has come to a turning point, from raising tariffs to lowering them. The two countries are moving in the right direction to scrap tariffs in phases. 

However, after the two countries announced Friday that they agreed on the text, American critics noted there are shortcomings in the deal that may put the US in a weak position. That noise weakened investors' confidence that the two countries would always follow the right path in dealing with their trade row.

Jim O'Sullivan, chief US macro strategist at TD Securities, was quoted by CNN as saying earlier this week that the phase one trade deal is positive but "there is still a lot of uncertainty." The world economy is experiencing slow growth, and such comments would further hurt the economy. Confidence-boosting measures are urgently necessary for the market.

The list released on Thursday is a big step that marks China's intention to de-escalate the trade conflict where both countries lower tariffs instead of raising them. The US side should respond with some positive news. A benign interaction like this will improve market confidence and eventually create an impetus to end the trade war. Media reports said the exemption list will be valid from December 26, triggering market speculation on whether or not China and the US will sign the phase one trade deal near that day.

The trade war has taken a massive toll on the global economy, and its negative effects cannot be dispelled overnight. The news that the text of a phase one trade deal has been reached is far from enough. The US economy and the rest of the world need a benign interaction, and further efforts must be made by Washington after the two countries agree on the text.

If Washington responds to China's newly released list and sends more positive signals in ending the trade war, US stock markets are expected to give a positive response as well on Thursday and Friday.

Posted in: GT VOICE

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