G20 leaders back WTO reforms amid global trade tensions

03 December, 2018, 00:18 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Trump, Xi Agree On Tariff Cease-Fire, As Trade Talks Continue

Sanders said the two leaders had agreed to begin immediate negotiations on "structural changes" on chronic issues of contention, including the practice of forcing USA investors to hand over technological knowhow, intellectual property protection and non-tariff barriers to entry for United States businesses. Trump now says he'll hold back on those tariff hikes for 90 days, as US and Chinese negotiators work on terms of a deal. They have also agreed to exchange visits at the appropriate time.

In July, Qualcomm - world's biggest smartphone-chip maker - walked away from a $44bn deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, becoming a high-profile victim of the Sino-US trade dispute.

China's Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen also said the two leaders had made a decision to not impose new tariffs on other products. "China will be buying massive amounts of products from us".

With the United States and China locked in an economic dispute that has unnerved global financial markets and weighed on the world economy, Trump and Xi sat down with their aides for a working dinner at the conclusion of a two-day gathering of world leaders in Buenos Aires.

On Air Force One, Trump told reporters he would "absolutely consider it and probably" accept such a measure.

Critically, that includes the previously slated January 1 increase from 10 to 25 per cent on some US$200 billion in Chinese goods. China gets a delay on additional tariffs, while the US gets greater purchases of agriculture goods while retaining leverage to push for more structural changes to the economy.

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve "something great" on trade for both countries.

The U.S. has imposed import taxes on $250 billion worth of Chinese products, citing predatory trade practices by the Chinese, and China has countered by targeting $110 billion in U.S. imports.

His tariff campaign against the country began in January 2018, and saw a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports imposed in March. Washington and Beijing have also increasingly been at odds over security in the Asia-Pacific region.

"President Trump's agreement yesterday with President Xi of China is the single most important step that could be taken to stop the flow of deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, from China into the United States".

Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China's maximum penalty under the law.

"And I think at some point, we're going to end up doing something which is great for China and great for the United States", Trump told reporters before the meeting.

Together, the G-20 members represent 85 per cent of global GDP, two-thirds of the world's population, and 75 percent of worldwide trade.

Much of the president's reasoning for changing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was his claim that the agreement was so widely despised, and needed to be renamed.

The state of the Chinese economy has been putting pressure on Xi, as economic growth has slowed this year, battering its stock market. So far, China's actions in this regard have been fully recognized by the worldwide community including the United States.

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