Trump cancels US-China trade negotiations

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 brusselstimes

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he had called off US – China trade deal negotiations.

“I don’t want to talk to them now,” Trump said. “If you know what they’ve done to this country and the world, I don’t want to talk to China just yet. So yes, I canceled the talks.”

Since Trump’s arrival at the White House in 2017, relations between Washington and Beijing have been tense.

Trade, in particular, is a major discussion point between the two superpowers.

In 2018, Trump imposed tariffs and other barriers for export to the US from China, with the aim to force changes to what Trump has called “unfair trade practices.”

In January, they agreed on a first phase, which foresees that China buys, among other things, large quantities of American agricultural products.

However, earlier in the month, China suspended these purchases in what China state news agency Xinhua called a  retaliation for “serious violation” of agreements, when further US tariffs were levied on $300 billion worth of imports from China.

The evaluation of phase 1 which was supposed to take place last weekend but is now postponed, was to verify whether the two parties are respecting the agreements.

Beside trade issues, the US is also critical of the status of Hong Kong, human rights violations facing ethnic minorities in China, and Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea.

The Brussels Times

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