Where is the trade dispute between China and the United States at?
The trade dispute between China and the United States has been going on for several months now. It should be recalled that the United States has maintained its position against China from the outset; it is seeking a change in its practices considered unfair, such as the “forced” transfer of technology and the “theft” of intellectual property. In the next few lines, we will provide you with a brief summary of the events marking the trade dispute between China and the United States.
Escalation of tensions
Last summer, the Trump administration carried out its threats to impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, to which China also responded by imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of US imports.
Since September 2018, the US government has imposed a new 10% surtax on an additional 200 billion Chinese goods, bringing the amount of overtaxed Chinese goods to some $250 billion. The amount of this new surcharge was scheduled to increase to 25% on January 1, 2019, but this date has been extended to March 1, 2019. At the same time, Beijing responded to this new surtax by announcing tariffs on about $60 billion in additional US products.
Current negotiation period
At the G20 Summit in Argentina last December, the United States and China decided to hold a 90-day truce and no longer impose tariffs on each other during this period. The two countries have until March 1, 2019, to reach an agreement. It should be noted that the Sino-American negotiations began in January 2019 in Beijing and were still going at the end of January in Washington.
Recently, China asked the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to investigate the surcharges imposed by the United States on $250 billion of Chinese imports. The WTO has agreed to form an arbitration tribunal to consider the Chinese government’s request.
The WTO is also investigating the 25% and 10% surtaxes applied by the US government to imports of steel and aluminum from various countries over the past year. These investigations were initiated following requests from countries affected by these surcharges.
If China and the United States fail to reach an agreement by March 1, 2019, the United States will impose 25% tariffs on $200 billion in additional Chinese imports. In the event that Beijing retaliated with similar measures, President Trump threatened to overtax $267 billion in additional Chinese imports.
Let us hope that an agreement will emerge by the end of the negotiation period and that the conflict between Chinese telecommunications giant HUAWEI and the United States will not prevent the two countries from moving forward together towards common ground.
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