Trade Negotiations in Washington: US 'looking for a deal' with China

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

Trump's shoot from the hip style on trade means the ZTE move could be a "bigly olive branch" that sets up a deal with the Chinese - or Trump could reverse course and crack down on trade. "I think that's where we are as a group".

In negotiating terms, that means Trump is giving away the very leverage point that's putting the squeeze on China in exchange for exactly nothing, except putting US consumers and our country as a whole at risk.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters confirmed USA officials were in talks with China about the company, saying that Mr Trump expects Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross "to exercise his independent judgement, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts".

The Latest on the surprising overture to China from President Donald Trump, who said he will help the telecommunications company ZTE get "back into business", though the company is under sanction by the U.S.

The timing of the president's renewed tweeting came amid criticism from both Republicans and Democrats to what seemed like an abrupt about-face on us policy.

U.S. retail sales increased at a moderate 0.3 percent in April as rising gasoline prices took a bite out of discretionary spending, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. He told Axios there's a "little bit of a bromance" between the two, reiterating that the Trump administration wants to avoid a full-fledged trade war with China. Campaigning is gathering pace before Mexico elects a new president on July 1, which could make the talks more politically complicated.

Wyden tried to get Evanina to comment on Trump's tweet, but he declined.

US officials are now discussing a package of changes that would relax penalties on ZTE in exchange for China easing tariffs on USA agricultural products, though talks remain very fluid.

Kudlow was critical of ZTE in an interview with the Politico news outlet, saying it was a "very poorly run company" with "many internal flaws".

"Unilateral tariffs will address none of these issues, however, and will inflict real economic harm on USA businesses and consumers", the USCBC said, suggesting a comprehensive and strategic approach that sets short, medium, and long-term negotiating objectives to address industry concerns. "The issue is to not simply to let them off, but perhaps to do so in a manner that they could conceivably go back into business". "I don't want to play anyone's hand", said Kudlow.

The comment took USA trade and security officials by surprise and prompted the president to say in a later tweet that ZTE buys a large amount of parts from US companies and the concession was part of "a larger trade deal with China and my personal relationship with President Xi".

"In general terms, we have a trade skirmish not a trade war", said Anthony Chan, Chase Chief Economist JP Morgan in NY. Still, she says his proposed tariffs on Chinese imports would be a huge mistake that would devastate her company. "So, they can't say they don't know what we're asking for", he said. "This egregious behavior can not be ignored", Ross said last month.

The companies are controlled by the Communist Party of China and could be used for operations to compromise USA communications infrastructures, the report said. The senators rued that the statement suggests that the administration is "not serious" about addressing the many economic challenges China presents and poses risk to American national security.

China will continue to deepen reforms, further open up its economy and improve the investment environment, Wang said in remarks to a U.S.

"America's policies toward China should put American workers, farmers and businesses first, not China's", they wrote in the letter.