Analysts: US trade demands could make deal with China harder
A list of hard-line demands that the Trump administration handed China this week could make it even more difficult to resolve a trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies.
That’s the view of trade analysts who say the U.S. insistence that Beijing shrink America’s gaping trade deficit with China by $200 billion by the end of 2020, among other demands, are more likely to raise tensions than to calm them.
A U.S. official confirmed the authenticity of a document outlining U.S. priorities that was presented to China ahead of two days of trade talks that ended Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the talks.
In Washington on Friday, President Donald Trump said, “We have to bring fairness in trade between the U.S. and China, and we will do that.” Trump had campaigned for the presidency on a promise to reduce America’s trade deficit with China, which amounted last year to $337 billion in goods and services.
The intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China has rattled financial markets for weeks. In March, the Trump administration slapped tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. China counterpunched with tariffs on a range of U.S. products, including bourbon and blue jeans.
Seeking to avert a trade war, the United States this week sent a high-level delegation to Beijing, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The delegation included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser and hard-line critic of Chinese policies.