Washington Update

March 6th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Export controls conversation moving forward despite Commerce personnel shake-up

The tightening of the direct product and de minimis rules, targeting Huawei, remain on the table despite a key personnel change at the Department of Commerce. On Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that Earl Comstock, director of policy and strategic planning, would be stepping down today. It is unclear exactly what prompted the announcement, or who will replace Comstock, but the decision has...

February 21st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Phase One implementation begins

US officials continued to affirm this week that no request from China to delay implementation of the Phase One trade deal had been received, and that it was on track despite concerns about COVID-19. In a move that could pave the way for the increased purchases outlined in the expanding trade chapter of the deal, including agricultural products, China announced a new list of products that will be eligible for tariff exclusions. Yesterday, the United...

January 31st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes
Phase One implementation still unclear

Several questions remain about the implementation of the Phase One trade agreement due to come into force on February 14. With little information from US or Chinese officials as to whether tariffs on various goods will be rolled back, there are doubts over the prospects of purchase commitments being met, and questions about the timeframe. Prospects for “phase two” negotiations are also unclear. In conversations with the US-China Business Council,...

January 11th, 2019

US-China trade talks review substantive issues, but no outcomes to date

Trade negotiations between the United States and China this week covered both structural issues and the trade balance. While no agreement was reached—nor was one expected—the substantive discussions laid the groundwork for further negotiations on the most difficult bilateral trade issues.

US-China Business Council sources indicate that the talks were extended to a third day to...

December 21st, 2018
By Angela Deng

Additional steps taken to implement G20 outcomes amid heightened tension on cybertheft

The United States and China took some additional steps this week to reduce bilateral trade tensions, though the United States announced actions on cyber crime that dampened the mood in the relationship.  

At China’s Central Economic Work Conference this week, leaders promised to implement some structural economic changes to implement the agreement reached by...

December 17th, 2018

Initial actions announced on US-China trade issues, though much work remains

The United States and China this week took initial steps to reduce tensions in bilateral trade.

On Monday evening, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone. A brief statement released by the Ministry of Commerce said that “both sides exchanged their views on the timetable and roadmap for pushing...

December 7th, 2018
By Angela Deng

Details about the agreement and future trade talks still unclear after Trump-Xi meeting

Limited details have emerged about the agreement that Presidents Trump and Xi reached at their working dinner after the G20 summit this past weekend, creating ambiguity about what the goals and agenda of the trade talks for the next 90 days will be.

Trump confirmed this week that the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be leading the trade negotiations and will also be working...

November 5th, 2018
By Angela Deng

Internal work begins on US trade priorities for Trump-Xi meeting at G20

According to news reports, President Donald Trump’s phone call with President Xi Jinping on Thursday has prompted the administration to initiate an internal process of identifying potential terms of an agreement to address US trade concerns when the presidents meet after the G20 summit on December 1. The meeting was rescheduled from November 29 to upgrade it from discussions on the sidelines of the G20 to a “...

October 29th, 2018
By Angela Deng

USCBC: China should move first to resolve the US-China trade tensions

The trade tensions between the United States and China are likely to escalate again unless China articulates the list of structural reforms that it is willing to undertake to address the US concerns, US-China Business Council President Craig Allen told reporters yesterday. 

USCBC sources indicate that the probability is currently 75 percent that the United States will increase the 10 percent tariff rate to...

October 5th, 2018
By Angela Deng

Vice President Pence warns of China’s aggression against the United States

In a speech at The Hudson Institute on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence asserted that China is applying a “whole-of-government approach,” consisting of propaganda and economic, military, and political “tools,” to expand its “influence” and “interests” in the United States. In the face of China’s aggression, Pence vowed that the United States “will not stand down.”

On China’s “economic tools,” Pence...

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