Daily Management Review

US To Indefinitely Postpone China Tariff Increase


02/28/2019




After the United States president Donald Trump postponed the imposition of enhanced import tariffs on Chinese goods because of satisfactory progress in trade talks with China, a formal move to suspend the tariff increase for an indefinite period was initiated by the Trump administration, said the US Trade Representative's office.
 
The announcement was made following the testimony to the US House Ways and Means Committee by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer where he told the legislators that a legal process to implement the delay was being followed by the USTR. 
 
"In accordance with the president’s direction, the Office of the United States Trade Representative will publish a notice in the Federal Register this week to suspend the scheduled tariff increase until further notice," USTR said in an emailed statement.
 
Even if a trade deal is managed to be agreed to between the US and China bringing an end to the current trade war, the threat of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods by the US would have to be maintained for years, said Lighthizer during his testimony.
 
According ot the statement of the top US trade negotiator told the House panel, there is still a lot of hard negotiations and work remaining to not only come to an agreement on mutual trade policies but also to ensure that the deal is actually implemented into practice.
 
Details of the work that still needs to be done to completely rehash the trade dealings between the two largest economies of the world was given by Lighthizer.
 
"The reality is this is a challenge that will go on for a long, long time," Lighthizer said. He earlier said he "is not foolish enough" to believe that the increasingly souring trade relationship between China and the US would get over with just one bout of negotiation.
 
Justifying the imposition of the import tariffs against Chinese goods by the Trump administration, Lighthizer said that it was the only way that pressure could be have been put on China so that it makes the demanded structural changes in its trade policies.
 
"If there is disagreement at my level, the US would expect to act proportionately but unilaterally," he said.
 
The comments by Lighthizer however apparently poured some water on the hopes of a trade deal between the US and China quite soon and some of the major stock exchanges dropped significantly following his comments. 
 
Earlier this week, after Trump’s announcement of the delay of the March 1 deadline for the imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods, there was uptick in the global equity markets. March 1 was the end of the three month truce to the trade war as agreed between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping for trying to iron out a trade deal.
 
According to Michael Antonelli, a managing director at Robert W Baird in Milwaukee, the comments made by Lighthizer that a China deal is not coming anytime soon were "enough to cause the markets to sell off".
 
(Source:www.aljazeera.com)






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