China Denies Backtracking On Deal, Asks US To Meet It Halfway As Tariff Hike Looms

Trade War
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, poses with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (Photo: Reuters)

In an attempt to salvage a possible win-win deal for both parties, China has now appealed to the United States to meet it halfway in the ongoing negotiations. Chinese trade negotiators were in the country for two straight days to iron out a deal that would prevent President Donald Trump's previously announced tariff hikes. Trump had threatened to increase the tariff rates for over $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent starting this week.

China and the United States were reportedly already close to sealing a deal last week, with most hopeful that the trade war would finally come to an end. However, Trump announced on social media over the weekend that the United States was going to be imposing the tariff hikes as China had apparently failed to meet its end of the bargain. China has so far denied that it had backtracked on its side of the deal.

According to Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, China had kept its promises and the country does put a lot of importance on trustworthiness. Gao further stated that it was normal for any negotiating parties to have disagreements during the process. The exact details of the alleged backtracking were not outlined, but suffice it to say that Trump wasn't very happy about what had transpired.

In his various tweets and during a rally in Florida, Trump mentioned that China had broken their deal and that they had cheated US workers. The president also used several terms, including "betrayal" and "backtracking" to describe China's recent actions. The recent trade issues had caused quite a stir in the global economic market, with stocks plunging worldwide. Trump's latest statement regarding his intention of not backing down on the tariff hikes has also made matters worse.

China stated that the fact that it had sent its trade delegation to the US despite the tariff threat is a clear sign of its sincerity. Officials are still pushing to iron out a deal, but they are also prepared to defend the country's interests. Gao mentioned that the country has been consistent in doing its part and it will not back down due to added pressures.

According to reports, China and the United States had apparently come up with a draft of the trade agreement, but it was unfortunately filled with terms that undermined the US' core demands. China reportedly revised some of the terms in the draft, which negated its compliance with the US' core complaints. These terms included issues such as technology transfers, intellectual property rights, trade secrets, currency manipulation, and access to financial services.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts