Trump on Trade: 'China Wants to Make a Deal'

Under pressure to liberalise its economy China is making the right noises. But there are no free lunches

Under pressure to liberalise its economy China is making the right noises. But there are no free lunches

Washington (CNN Politics) President Donald Trump on Friday raised the prospect of ending his escalating trade war with China, but signaled United States negotiators still want more a few more concessions from their largest trading partner.

The tariff rate on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods is set to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on January 1. In September, Trump added tariffs to another $200 billion of imports, to which Beijing retaliated by adding levies to a further $60 billion of US goods.

But this time the comments came after China put forward a new list of issues for negotiation ahead of the G20 summit, which the US President described as a "pretty complete list".

At the end of the day, the only way the U.S. is likely to hit the breaks on its stance toward China is if "the voices of the United States big businesses become rowdy enough on the problems that the tariffs are causing", according to Woodward. Mr Pence said the only way China could avoid an all-out cold war was to "fundamentally change its behaviour".

It was unclear if the response contained concessions that would satisfy Trump's demands.

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Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro, a staunch advocate of tariffs, was publicly sidelined this week - for the second time in his tenure with the Trump administration - after claiming in a speech on Friday that Trump was committed to a hard line with Beijing.

"I think much of that will depend on Argentina", Pence told the reporter.

The two countries resumed talks after the call between the two leaders, ending a three month hiatus that saw relations deteriorate as the United States accused China of interfering in U.S. domestic politics and seeking to undermine Trump.

Mr Pence said China must offer concessions on a wide range of issues including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, restricted access to Chinese markets, respect for worldwide rules and norms, efforts to limit freedom of navigation in global waters and Chinese Communist Party interference in the politics of Western countries. He has often pointed to alleged currency manipulation, arguing that Beijing's policies hurt the USA financially.

Responding to Pence's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had always been a "model student" when it came to respecting worldwide rules and norms.

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