U.S. farmers 'cautiously optimistic' amid signs of progress in China trade talks

U.S. farmers 'cautiously optimistic' amid signs of progress in China trade talks

U.S. farmers 'cautiously optimistic' amid signs of progress in China trade talks

A couple of months ago, when the U.S. and China appeared to be on the brink of a trade war, Elon Musk took to Twitter to complain to U.S. President Donald Trump about the unfair trade rules on U.S. vehicle sales in China, which make Tesla's cars much more expensive in the world's fastest-growing EV market.

In addition to recently imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, the administration has threatened tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods over intellectual property complaints, and Beijing has vowed to respond.

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

After high-level talks last week in Washington, Beijing agreed in a joint statement with the U.S.to "substantially reduce" America's trade deficit with China.

The message comes one day after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it had completed an investigation into certain steel imports from Vietnam and found that China had been funneling its steel dumping through Vietnam to circumvent anti-dumping measures.

China is aggressively pursuing its territorial claims in the South China Sea - including by militarizing disputed areas and pushing its borders far out into global waters - despite an worldwide arbitral ruling invalidating them. However, the battle is not over yet with US President Donald Trump signaling that he is not completely satisfied with the outcome of the trade negotiations. "This will help support growth and employment in the United States".

Several cases emerged in 2016 of China using its intelligence services and employing other illicit approaches that violate U.S. laws and export controls to obtain national security and export-restricted technologies, controlled equipment and other materials, they said.

"As such, we implore you to reject any proposal to soften restrictions on the transfer to China of US-made military technologies and advanced dual-use technologies, including semiconductors", said the letter, which among others was signed by Senators Chuck Schumer, Marco Rubio, Dianne Feinstein, Susan Collins, Sherrod Brown, Mark Warner, Ted Cruz, Kamala Harris Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn.

President Trump said Monday that his hard-nosed trade negotiations won some concessions from China and not the trade war his critics had predicted, scoring what he crowed was another victory for his "American First" agenda.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Ford Motor Co's imported vehicles were being held up at Chinese ports, adding to a growing list of US products facing issues at China's borders.

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Ross seemed surprised last week at Trump's demand to reopen a case settled only weeks earlier, and resistant to treat ZTE's fate as a bargaining chip on trade rather than a straightforward enforcement matter. "We're looking at the possibility of things turning around here". In tweets earlier this week, he said: "China is out-negotiating the administration and winning the trade talks right now".

Roughly one-third of all US vehicle imports a year ago were from Asia.

The U.S.is also a major supplier to China of agricultural products, particularly soybeans and cotton.

"China will pay close attention to the progress of the US investigation, conduct a comprehensive assessment of the possible impact and firmly defend our legitimate rights and interests", Gao told reporters at a news conference.

At the same time, the United States exported almost 2 million vehicles worldwide worth $57 billion.

It may be still early days in the US-China trade conflict.

Trump has frequently lambasted China's high import duties on foreign cars.

To be sure, the U.S. has long pursued a unilateralist foreign policy, exemplified by George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq and Barack Obama's 2011 overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi's regime in Libya.

Passenger cars make up around 30 percent of Japan's total exports to the U.S. and Tokyo has already threatened Washington with retaliation at the World Trade Organization for the steel tariffs.

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