U.S. presses China for details on deal to resolve trade tensions
WASHINGTON — The U.S. is pressing Beijing to fill in the details of a slew of trade and investment proposals Chinese officials have made recently, as the two sides try to resolve a trade battle that has rocked global markets.
Since President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1, Beijing has pledged to cut tariffs, buy more U.S. goods and services, ease restrictions on foreign companies operating in China and further open sectors for foreign investment. But details have been scant. That has led to skepticism in the administration that the initiatives will lead to meaningful progress unless Beijing specifies the types of changes it will adopt, the schedule for implementing them and ways to enforce the pledges, said people tracking the talks.
The 90-day talks are due to wrap up on March 1. If no agreement is reached, the U.S. said it will boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from the current 10%, potentially having a big impact on electronics, furniture, machinery and other U.S. industries that rely on Chinese imports. It could also deepen a slowdown in China’s economy, which would have broad consequences for global growth.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he and Xi had just talked by phone and made “big progress” in the talks. “Deal is moving along very well,” Trump tweeted. “If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute.” Chinese state media also announced the Saturday call but didn’t provide any details. The people familiar with the state of negotiations said the president may be overstating how close the two sides are to an agreement.