(Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Monday a Chinese delegation is preparing to go to United States for trade talks, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.
From what I’ve read the two sides made agreements on some huge issues (like IP theft) and at the very end China tried to renege and renegotiate. This pissed off Lighthizer and Trump because it appeared as another stall tactic that China’s used for decades.
Trump waited the whole weekend until just before markets opened in China to drop the tweet, the gloves are off by the looks of it.
China overall is a much weaker negotiating position, it has a slowing economy, unsustainable debt load (much larger than US when SOEs are included) and a government that has a very slow threshold for internal instability. Trumps administration looks to be trying to squeeze more concessions and commitments (and assurances they’ll follow through) out of the CCP before a deal is agreed.
IMO all this stuff is way overdue, China has been getting away with not following its treaties and WTO commitments for decades. Think what you want of Trump but Robert Lighthizer is the most knowledgeable person around with regard to US China trade, he knows where the pressure points are. This is the guy who smoked a whole pack of cigars in one session to intimidate soviet negotiations in the 1980s when working for Regan.
Aside from Trumps tweet about China trying to renegotiate…
abandoning a six-month truce after Beijing waffled on some previously discussed commitments. The White House, U.S. Treasury and U.S. Trade Representative’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Lighthizer has said for a long time he won’t tolerate China’s typical delaying tactics, looks like they’re finally drawing the line with Chinese negotiators.