Senior US Officials Accuses China Of ‘Reneging’ On Trade Deal


China is being accused by the senior US officials who are negotiating the trade deal on ‘Reneging’ on the terms of the deal. The talks which till last week looked like it would end with a deal between two of the largest economies of the world is now at risk of ending with a tussle. Steven Mnuchin the US Treasury Secretary and Robert Lighthizer who are part of the delegation said that over time the Chinese have backtracked. The US trade representative said, “Over the last week or so we have seen an erosion in commitments by China.” Both officials in a briefing to the press said that the Trump government is all set to impose tariff hikes on $200 billion of Chinese products in response to the lack of progress in talks.

What changed?

Till the Sunday’s tweet by Donald Trump on the imposition of tariff hikes, both Lighthizer and Mnuchin had said that the talks had been ‘productive’ with the Chinese Vice President. There was also speculation that an agreement will be reached by this weekend but all that changed.

In the past few days, the US officials have been seeing a shift in the approach by Chinese officials; they refused to change the laws which was part of the deal and for which they had agreed previously. There was also contention on the IP protection, best possible way to make the deal and the timelines to roll out back tariffs. As per Steven Mnuchin, China was looking at ways to ‘go back on language that had been previously negotiated. This was a very clear language that had the potential of changing the deal dramatically. It’s unfortunate if we can’t conclude an agreement because I think this agreement would have opened up China.”

Not all hope is lost when it comes to making a trade deal as the senior officials emphasized that the talks with Beijing is not ending and can be back on track. The Chinese Vice President who was due to visit Washington this week will make the travel as planned. But they said that they were ready to levy taxes even as the Vice Premier visits them.

China has been criticized by many that they are not making enough concessions and the recent developments will make the hardliners happy as they have been asking the Trump administration to not agree for a weak deal for the US while the corporates are just looking to make a deal either ways.

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