China Is Ready for U.S. Imports. Trade War Won?

by: The Knowledge Group

January 24, 2019


Is China ready to reduce the U.S. trade deficit of $323 billion to zero? This month, Bloomberg News reported that Chinese officials, during talks with U.S. trade reps in Beijing, have offered a six-year increase in imports. The offer involves China raising the annual import of U.S. goods by at least $1 trillion.

The change would set the U.S. on track to shrink its trade deficit with China and resolve it entirely by 2024.

Is the U.S.-China Trade War Ending?

We’ll be watching what unfolds as Vice Premier Liu He, China’s trade czar, comes to Washington, D.C. at the end of January. Liu will participate in a two-day conference with top U.S. trade representatives.

China’s commerce ministry says the two sides indeed have laid the foundation for resolving their trade disputes.

Among a range of goodwill gestures recently made by China is the resumption of U.S. soybean imports. China has also recently made concessions in the area of intellectual property theft. And the country’s taking steps to dismantle the ceiling for foreign ownership in financial services industries. The U.S. could respond with a suspension of the current U.S. tariffs placed on $250 billion in Chinese products.

So far, Trump is holding off plans to escalate the tariff from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of goods.

WTO Reform in Sight

The Trump administration introduced the first set of punitive tariffs on Chinese goods in July 2018. Beijing immediately retaliated.

The South China Morning Post quoted Nicholas Lardy, of the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, asserting that some disagreements will linger. China will not, for instance, agree to unrestricted foreign ownership in certain industries, notably the media sector.

Still, U.S. pressure on the WTO is winning changes, Bloomberg reports. Most recently, the annual Group of 20 meeting agreed to back reform of the WTO. Removing hot-button language is helping the world’s trade leaders get to “yes.”


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