Sino/US Statements on Latest Trade Talks

Sino/US Statements on Latest Trade Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Following January 7 – 9 Sino/US trade talks in Beijing, statements by both countries indicated no breakthroughs on tough issues.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said the following:

“From Jan. 7 to 9, China and the US held discussions in Beijing at a vice-ministerial level over the issue of trade. Both sides enthusiastically implemented the important agreement of the heads of both countries, and held broad, deep and meticulous discussions on shared observations on trade issues and structural problems, laying the foundation for addressing areas of common concern. Both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact.”

The above remarks indicate major differences between both countries remain unresolved.

The US statement revealed it. Judge for yourself, saying: 

“On January 7-9, an official delegation from the United States led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish held meetings in Beijing with Chinese officials to discuss ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations between our two countries.” 

That’s what trade talks and diplomatic outreach on other issues are all about, nothing new in the above remarks.

“The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement.”

We’ve been down this road before, little progress made. Nor is it likely this time on the stickiest issues.

“The meetings were held as part of the agreement reached by President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to engage in 90 days of negotiations with a view to achieving needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture.”

All of the above issues were raised many times before, including long before Trump entered office. 

Washington wants things its way at the expense of other countries it seeks to exploit and dominate – an objective going nowhere in dealings with China, Russia and Iran.

Key structural changes and other objectives the US seeks are all about wanting China’s aim to advance economically, financially, industrially, and technologically undermined – what Beijing won’t tolerate.

“The talks also focused on China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products  and services from the United States.”

China has always been willing to buy US goods and services it needs, nothing new here. 

“The United States officials conveyed President Trump’s commitment to addressing our persistent trade deficit and to resolving structural issues in order to improve trade between our countries.”

The trade deficit is a sideshow compared to China’s growing economic, financial, industrial and technological might – the main issue between both countries.

It’s heading toward becoming the world’s leading economy in the years ahead, a reality the US has no power to stop other than by war it could lose.

If unable to defeat much weaker countries it attacked post-WW II, what chance would it have against China – nuclear armed with ICBMs able to strike US cities and other targets.

“The delegation will now report back to receive guidance on the next steps.”

Follow-up talks in Washington are planned, likely later in January. Minor things apparently were agreed on in Beijing. 

Tough ones remain to be addressed, issues proving unresolvable so far. Further talks aren’t likely to fare better – other than promises by both sides with no effective enforcement mechanisms.

JP Morgan’s chief market strategist Karen Ward believes US and Beijing’s objectives are world’s apart, saying it’ll take a major breakthrough to change things, adding:

“I don’t think, unfortunately, that (the trade war) is something that will disappear from our horizon for the full year” – and beyond.

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