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Trump's shifts on China underscore fragile state of trade talks

Trump's shifts on China underscore fragile state of trade talks

As the pressure builds for Donald Trump and his presidential team to agree to a financial win in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it appears that the administration has backed away from any potential trade war with China.

"If these reports are true, the fines and board changes will do nothing to protect American national or economic security and are simply a diversion from the fact we have lost", Schumer said.

In testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration's primary goal was safeguarding United States interests and denied any quid pro quo.

A group of GOP senators met privately early on Wednesday evening with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

"China welcomes the U.S.in sending senior trade delegations to China soon, and hopes China and the USA can work together to actively implement the measures specified in the joint statement according to the understanding both sides achieved recently in D.C.", Gao said.

The proposal includes the East Asian country purchasing large quantities of USA farm and agricultural products.

Both sides claimed victory on Monday and pledged to continue talking after last week's round in Washington produced pledges that China would import more American energy and agricultural commodities, although there were no specifics. While the levy reduction could be claimed in some quarters as a concession to Trump and will be a boon to USA carmakers such as Tesla (tsla), the move will also end up benefiting European and Asian manufacturers from Daimler (ddaif) to Toyota Motor (tm).

Last year, the USA had a record deficit with China in merchandise trade of $375 billion, the largest with any nation.

Any firm deal is likely to take a long time, according to most observers, and USA officials have threatened to return to tariffs, which prompted the current standoff, if needed.




The Federal Reserve is beginning to worry about the economic fallout from a trade war.

Last August, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer began an investigation into Beijing's strong-arm tactics to challenge U.S. technological dominance. "I just got back from the South China Sea, where they're probably the most powerful as anywhere in the world".

Last month, the administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports to protest the forced technology transfers. And the Trump administration ordered a seven-year halt in American shipments of computer microchips and software that are at the heart of most of ZTE's telecommunications gear.

China responded by targeting $US50 billion in USA products, including soybeans, which would deal a blow to Mr Trump supporters in America's heartland.

"Imposing broad, comprehensive restrictions on such a large industry could cause confusion in world markets, and could lead to the breakdown of the multilateral trade system based on WTO rules", Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said Thursday in Tokyo.

And Trump said his administration could impose a new fine of as much as $1.3 billion on embattled Chinese telecom company ZTE to replace crippling sanctions imposed last month that threatened to put the firm out of business.

The ban amounted to a death sentence for ZTE, which relies heavily on USA parts, and the company announced that it was halting operations.

In January, both AT&T and Verizon were likely pressured by the government into dropping Huawei's devices from their line-up, and six U.S. intelligence chiefs warned against purchasing the companies' devices for fear of foreign surveillance.

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