U.S., Japan, EU to meet on China ahead of Wednesday trade deal signing - USTR


By Andrea Shalal, Reuters

via Yahoo Finance - January 13, 2020


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top trade officials from the United States, Japan and the European Union will huddle in Washington on Tuesday to address non-market-oriented trade policies and subsidies by China, a day before Washington and Beijing finalise a preliminary trade deal.


U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met Monday with his Japanese counterpart, Hiroshi Kajiyama, and will meet for bilateral talks with EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Thursday, a USTR spokesman said.


The meetings bookend Wednesday's signing of a Phase I trade agreement between the United States and China that is aimed at defusing an 18-month war of tit-for-tat tariffs that have roiled financial markets and dragged down global growth.


The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation think-tank on Monday urged all three parties to abandon their recent bilateral, non-World Trade Organization measures against each other and focus instead on building a concerted response to what it described as China’s dangerous mercantilist practices.


"Without aggressive, coordinated action, leading economies in Europe, Asia and North America are likely to face a crushing wave of unfair competition – and have fewer jobs as a result," the group wrote in a report released Monday. “Once a nation or region loses an advanced industry to China, it will be virtually impossible to resurrect."


Top economists and experts say the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal with China marks a positive step forward, but leaves many significant challenges to be resolved.


Key issues at the heart of the bilateral dispute, including China's subsidies for state-owned firms, digital trade and cybersecurity, must still be addressed, but it is not clear if the phase 2 talks will make any headway before the 2020 U.S. presidential election in November.


The EU and Japan share many of the United States' concerns about...