According to a senior Chinese official and trade negotiator, the United States will not be able to pressure China into a trade deal, refusing to comment on whether or not the leaders of both countries would meet at the G20 summit in order to come to some sort of agreement.
Trade tensions between the two countries have been especially high since last month, when Trump accused China of coming up short on their promise to make integral changes to their economic practices. In addition, the United States imposed an additional 25% tariff on over $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods and products. Naturally, China retaliated.
During a news conference, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen stated that the United States was being irresponsible by saying that China had backtracked on their promises. His own words were as follows;
“If the U.S. side wants to use extreme pressure, to escalate the trade friction, to force China to submit and make concessions, this is absolutely impossible. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. During the consultations, China has overcome many difficulties and put forward pragmatic solutions. However, the U.S. has backtracked, and when you give them an inch, they want a yard.”
Wang also made it clear that America’s demands were unreasonably high, and that “demands relating to China’s sovereign rights” needed to be added to the agreement between the two countries. Naturally the tariffs imposed by the United States has added a great deal of tension and escalation to these negotiations as well, which certainly didn’t help improve the situation.
Trump has stated that he will be meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Osaka G20 summit at the month’s end, but so far the Chinese President has not confirmed whether or not he will be making this meeting.
When asked about the nature of the situation, Wang claimed that the United States was grossly overestimating the trade deficit between the two countries, and that China was not to blame for the drop in US manufacturing jobs. According to Wang, the US goods and services deficit with China is not anywhere near the quoted $410 billion that the United States claims, but rather closer to $150 billion. He also added that the deficit calculations shouldn’t include China’s processing trade with the United States.
He goes on to state the US has backtracked on many of its commitments, and that Washington is responsible for the many setbacks in the negotiations, which probably isn’t too far from the truth considering that Trump escalated the situation to begin with.
Ultimately, we’ll have to hope the G20 Summit on June 28-29 yields some favorable results on this situation before it escalates into a full scale trade war. Unfortunately, we have no idea if the Chinese President Xi Jinping will decide to make an appearance and meet with President Trump until an official statement is made. We’ll have to wait until then to see what happens.