The US-China trade dispute was set to enter a new, quieter phase yesterday as US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (劉鶴) were to sign an initial trade deal that aims to vastly increase Chinese purchases of US manufactured products, agricultural goods, energy and services.
The “phase one” agreement caps 18 months of tariff conflict between the world’s two largest economies that has hit hundreds of billions of dollars in goods, roiling financial markets, uprooting supply chains and slowing global growth.
Trump and Liu were scheduled to sign the 86-page document at a White House event before more than 200 invited guests from business, government and diplomatic circles.
A translation of the text to Chinese was still being completed late on Tuesday afternoon, as Liu met with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
At a rally in Toledo, Ohio, last week, Trump had already begun touting the trade deal as a centerpiece of his 2020 re-election campaign, calling it “a big beautiful monster.”
The centerpiece of the deal is a pledge by China to purchase an additional US$200 billion of US goods over two years to cut a bilateral US trade deficit that peaked at US$420 billion in 2018.
A source briefed on the agreement said that China would purchase an additional US$80 billion of US manufactured goods over the two year period, including aircraft, vehicles and auto parts, agricultural machinery and medical devices.
Beijing would boost energy purchases by about US$50 billion and services by US$35 billion, while agricultural purchases would be given a US$32 billion lift over the two years, all compared with a 2017 baseline of US exports to China, the source said.
The phase one deal, reached last month, canceled planned US tariffs on Chinese-made phones, toys and laptop computers and halved the tariff rate to 7.5 percent on about US$120 billion of other Chinese goods, but it will leave in place 25 percent tariffs on a vast US$250 billion array of Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers.
Lighthizer and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin moved to stamp out suggestions that the US and China might review possible removal of more tariffs after the US election in November, issuing a joint statement that there were no written or oral agreements for future tariff reductions.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters