In this file:
· The White House is sharply divided over proposal to remove some China tariffs, report says
· U.S., China to Remove Tariffs Bit by Bit if Partial Deal Clinched, Says Beijing
The White House is sharply divided over proposal to remove some China tariffs, report says
o A proposal that the US roll back a portion of tariffs on Chinese products has reportedly led to a sharp divide among White House officials.
o The US did not issue any public response after China said the two sides had agreed to remove tariffs "simultaneously."
o President Donald Trump announced last month he would delay planned tariff escalations as part of an agreement that included a range of unspecified commitments from China.
Gina Heeb, Business Insider
Nov. 7, 2019
As the largest economies hammer out the first part of a trade agreement, a proposal that the US roll back a portion of tariffs on Chinese products has reportedly led to a sharp divide among White House officials.
Citing multiple anonymous sources familiar with the talks, Reuters reported Thursday afternoon the plan had received fierce opposition from some Trump administration officials and outside advisers. The White House declined to comment to Business Insider.
Hours earlier, China had said that the two sides had agreed to remove tariffs "simultaneously" if a trade pact were reached. The US did not issue any public response.
President Donald Trump announced last month he would delay planned tariff escalations as part of an agreement that included a range of unspecified commitments from China. But the mini agreement has not yet been put to paper.
White House officials had until at least mid-October continued discussions on further economic penalties against China...
U.S., China to Remove Tariffs Bit by Bit if Partial Deal Clinched, Says Beijing
Beijing usually doesn’t describe how much progress has been made on trade talks, but officials depict a phasing out of tariffs as a hard-won result
Grace Zhu and Chao Deng, Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
via Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) - November 7, 2019
“If the phase-one deal is signed, China and the U.S. should remove the same proportion of tariffs simultaneously based on the content of the deal,” spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing Thursday. “This is what [the two sides] agreed on following careful and constructive negotiations over the past two weeks,” he said.
Beijing has typically declined to characterize the amount of progress on trade talks, but the officials on Thursday depicted a phasing out of tariffs as a hard-won result. What’s unclear is whether what the Chinese officials described can be considered a compliance mechanism, as the White House has said it demands.
As of Thursday evening Beijing time, the White House and U.S. Trade Representative had yet to respond to the Chinese side’s announcement.
Throughout the trade dispute, Beijing has pressed the U.S. to remove all tariffs, describing that as one of its bottom lines when talks fell apart earlier this year. By contrast, President Trump has expanded and increased tariffs on Chinese imports to pressure Beijing into complying with U.S. demands. Last month, he agreed to cancel higher tariffs on a portion of Chinese goods that were about to go into effect—not lower them.
Phasing out tariffs could be a face-saving way for Washington to claim it has worked out a system to get China to comply with terms in a potential agreement. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that U.S. and Chinese officials were considering rolling back some tariffs to clinch a partial deal.
The U.S.’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, has pushed—so far unsuccessfully—to get Beijing to let the U.S. establish enforcement offices as part of a potential trade deal. When the U.S. announced in October that the two sides would try to resolve the trade dispute in stages, Mr. Lighthizer said the two sides agreed to have a “workable dispute settlement mechanism” and that it was “the final issue that we’re putting together.”
The Commerce Ministry’s Mr. Gao reiterated China’s longtime stance that the U.S. is the instigator of the dispute and should take responsibility in de-escalating tensions: “The trade war started with increasing tariffs and should end in removing all tariffs,” he said.
With President Trump open to clinching an interim deal, Beijing negotiators have pushed hard to extract concessions from their counterparts. The phase-one deal is widely expected to deter Mr. Trump from imposing brand-new tariffs on Dec. 15 as planned.
“There are some indications that the Trump administration may be getting desperate,” said Nick Marro, a trade analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “China may pick up on this and start playing hardball, because they know that—at least politically—they have the upper hand.”
In Beijing, people following the talks say it makes sense for Chinese negotiators not to give in to U.S. demands, including that China buy about $50 billion of American farm goods within two years...