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US-China Trade Negotiations Broken

BEIJING – Three days of negotiations in Beijing between the US and Chinese negotiators were broken yesterday without an agreement to end the escalation of the trade war between the two countries. Further talks are scheduled in Washington before the March 1 deadline set by the Trump administration, World Socialist Website said Thursday.
The US threat might raise tariffs on Chinese goods to $200 billion, from 10 to 25%, if no resolution is found, underlines the unilateral and intimidating nature of the approach from Washington about the talks. The “negotiations” consisted of US officials who insisted that Beijing respond to a long list of demands, without offering anything in return, if it were not to apply the highest tariffs.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the US Trade Representative’s office said the US negotiators “expressed President Trump’s commitment to reducing his persistent trade deficit [with China] and resolving structural problems.
The statement noted that China had committed to purchase a “substantial amount” of US agricultural products, manufactured goods, energy and other products, while noting that any agreement would be “subject to ongoing verification and effective implementation” ask China to demonstrate that it will respond to requests from the United States, with the threat of additional sanctions in the background.
The New York Times reported that the United States intended to maintain tariffs on Chinese products last year. Treasury would maintain indefinitely the 25% tariffs that Mr. Trump imposed in July and August on Chinese goods, about one-tenth of US imports, and the 10% tariffs he imposed in September, about $200 billion in Chinese products, he said.
The so-called “structural problems” do not concern “fair trade”, but reflect the fears expressed in Washington that China poses a threat to US ambitions for world domination.
Trump and his officials repeatedly accused Beijing of “stealing” US intellectual property and forcing American companies to transfer technology to their Chinese partners, which cost them the price to do business in China.
Before the talks, China had drafted legislation to make such practices illegal, but the United States demanded tougher measures. The New York Times reported that, according to anonymous US sources, US officials have asked China to give more details on how it would guarantee the implementation of its offers.
“Many hawks in the administration trade regard them as unclear, especially with regard to Chinese business practices that government officials deem unjust,” he said.
The “Made in China 2025” program, which aims to accelerate China’s competitiveness in high-tech sectors such as semiconductors, commercial aircraft and electric cars, is the main obstacle to achieving any agreement. While Beijing sees these plans as essential to China’s continued economic growth, Washington is hostile to the threat it poses, not only to the dominance of US corporations, but also to US military superiority.
While Beijing has offered US companies better access to participation in the development of China’s manufacturing sector, it is unwilling to give up its plans to boost its industrial capabilities.
In a brief statement released today, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has optimized the talks by saying that there had been “extensive, in-depth and meticulous discussions on common observations on trade and structural issues, laying the groundwork for to deal with areas of common interest “.
China is facing a slowdown in economic growth, in part because of lower exports to the United States. If no agreement was reached and US tariffs would no longer be threatened on March 2, Chinese growth would be hit hard. Trump also threatened to go further and impose higher tariffs on all Chinese imports to the United States.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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