China-US economic, trade consensuses "meet interests of the people": vice premier

In the short run, a truce in the trade conflict between the United States and China has lightened tensions, halted the immediate threat of US tariffs on China's goods and cheered stock markets.

In an interview with the business channel CNBC yesterday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "Both parties have agreed to suspend the tariffs". These include outright cybertheft of US companies' trade secrets and China's demands that American corporations hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese markets.

Also Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a daily news briefing that China expects no further reversals in trade and economic ties with the United States.

He said the USA must focus on getting China to agree to reforms such as scrapping requirements that US companies share technology with their Chinese counterparts in order to take part in joint ventures there.

The statement didn't please the critics who felt Trump was giving up his country's position and Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator from Florida said in a tweet that the Chinese did not lose much since "in exchange they get no tariffs, can keep stealing intellectual property & can keep blocking our companies while they invest in the us without limits". The Chinese company was sanctioned by Washington after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran and effectively put out of business, but its fate was made a precondition of last week's trade talks in a conversation between Trump and President Xi Jinping. They told Liu that the whole world is celebrating for the consensuses reached between China and the United States on economic and trade issues. Apparently, China has offered to remove tariffs that now impact USA farming products.

And in a statement that clashed with Trump's sanguine tweet, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer seemed to warn over the weekend that attaining an unspecified agreement on agricultural products would not achieve more critical long-term goals on intellectual property.

ZTE has been forced to halt major operations after the US slapped a ban on China's second-largest maker of phone networking equipment for violating a settlement on breaching sanctions and then lying about it.

China has frequently argued that the trade imbalance can be fixed by the USA lifting strict export curbs on high-technology goods. Trade experts cautioned that this suspension of tariffs could hurt the president's leverage in ongoing talks with China.

Washington had threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports unless Beijing rectified its theft of US intellectual property. Most observers say a firm deal is likely to take a long time.

The Treasury secretary also downplayed reports that he and Peter Navarro, Trump's trade adviser, engaged in a profanity-laced argument during their trip to China earlier this month. Mnuchin is "promising to win something already happening. the U.S.is folding again". -China Business Council, called the apparent de-escalation in trade tensions "a great bit of progress". Boeing Co. gained 3.6 percent and construction equipment maker Caterpillar rose 2.1 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.98 yen from Monday's 111.03 yen.

  • Rosalie Stanley