Trump Says China Trade Deal Is 'Too Hard to Get Done'

Guardian Web |

Donald Trump has further dampened expectations of a trade deal with China, saying the current framework makes it “too hard to get done”.

“Our Trade Deal with China is moving along nicely, but in the end we will probably have to use a different structure in that this will be too hard to get done and to verify results after completion,” he tweeted early on Wednesday.

Trump’s comments come one day after he said he was “not satisfied” with the trade talks that have become stressed on the US side by an apparent lack of coordination among administration officials.

According to a New York Times report published on Monday, the strained relationship between the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and the National Trade Council director, Peter Navarro, devolved into a shouting match in front of Chinese officials on a trip to Beijing earlier this month.

The stock markets reacted further to the president’s latest comments, with the Dow Jones dropping 120 points in early trading. In trading on Tuesday, the index dropped 300 points.

Market analyst Capital Economics said in a note that the vague agreement for China to reduce tariffs on US auto imports and to purchase more agricultural and energy products would do little to address underlying trade tensions.

“The deal will have little impact on the bilateral deficit with China and a minimal impact on the overall deficit. Nor does it address long-standing (and increasingly vocal) complaints that many US firms are forced to transfer technologies and cede ownership to Chinese partners in return for market access, which prompted the trade investigation into China in the first place.”

Accordingly, the paper concluded, “tensions over trade policy will almost certainly flare up again in the coming months”.

Several administration officials were then obliged to walk back optimistic comments that China would agree to cut its trade surplus with the US by $200bn, largely by increasing US imports.

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