Emmanuel Macron admits fear EU to face backlash from Donald Trump after new China deal
“I hope it is a good dynamic. But I would not want this Chinese-American rapprochement to be an excuse to reopen a new chapter of US-European tensions,” M Macron told reporters. Central to the “momentous” deal is a promise by Beijing to purchase an additional $200billion worth of US farm products and other goods and services over two years. But critics are concerned the accord may not ease tensions for long, with numerous tricky issues still unresolved.
US President Donald Trump, who faces an imminent impeachment trial as well as a tough re-election bid later this year, acknowledged the need for further negotiations with Beijing but hailed the current agreement as “momentous”.
“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House following a meeting with US and Chinese officials.
China’s Vice Premier Liu He said the deal was the proof that the two countries could resolve their differences with dialogue.
Under the initial deal, China agreed to boost purchases of US goods and services by $200 billion (£153 billion) over two years in exchange for the lifting of some tariffs.
Commitments include $54 billion (£41.3 billion) in additional energy purchases, $78 billion (£59.7 billion) in additional manufacturing purchases, $32 billion (£24.5 billion) more in farm products and $38 billion (£29 billion) in services, according to the White House and China’s Finance Ministry.
China was initially reluctant to commit to buying set amounts of US farm goods and had signed new soybean contracts with Brazil at the start of the trade war.
But Mr Liu later said the deal would not affect “third parties’ interests,” in an apparent reference to deals made with other suppliers of farm products.
Mr Trump, who has touted a tough “America First” policy aimed at rebalancing global trade in favour of American companies and workers, said China had pledged to tackle the problem of pirated and counterfeited goods and that the pact included strong protection of intellectual property rights.
The Phase 1 deal cancelled planned US tariffs on Chinese-made mobile phones, toys and laptop computers and halved the tariff rate to 75 percent on about $120 billion (£91.8 billion) worth of other Chinese goods, including flat-panel televisions, Bluetooth headphones and footwear.
However, it will leave in place 25 percent tariffs on some $250 billion (£191 billion) worth of Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers, and China’s retaliatory tariffs on over $100 billion (£76.5 billion) in US goods.
The tariffs will only be removed “if we’re able to do phase two,” Mr Trump said. “I’m leaving them on. Otherwise we have no cards to negotiate with.”
US Vice President Mike Pence, for his part, said American and Chinese officials had “already begun discussions on a Phase 2 deal”.
America Business News International
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