China Demands U.S. Remove Tariffs Levied During Trade War for Final Deal

Hopes of a "phase one" trade deal between the United States and China have fluctuated since Friday, when President Donald Trump announced that the two countries would soon be signing a preliminary agreement.

Even as talks between the countries continue, as Beijing and Washington seek to iron out the details of the "phase one" agreement to end the 18-month trade war, China cautioned on Thursday that the long-running conflict won't end until the U.S. removes all tariffs levied since July 2018.

"The ultimate goal for the negotiations between the two sides is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs. This is good for China, good for the US and good for the whole world," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said in a statement Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported. But China is willing to agree to a partial deal that would include "progress in the direction of canceling all tariffs," he said.

Under the deal announced Friday at the White House, which officials from both countries are still discussing, China would agree to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products. Trump has said that China's commitment was between $40 to $50 billion each year. In addition, Trump said that China would take action on certain intellectual property disputes. The president has regularly voiced discontent over China's policies on forced technology sharing, which he has said amount to intellectual property theft. In return for China's concessions, the U.S. has agreed to suspend a tariff increase set to take place this week.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the Trump administration hoped that Trump and China's President Xi Jinping would sign the primary agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Chile next month.

The announcement of the phase one trade deal has left farmers "cautiously optimistic," Blake Hurst, the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, told Yahoo News. Investors have similarly exhibited tepid confidence. The trade deal has infused uncertainty into the global economy and led to flagging worldwide growth. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth estimates from 3.2 percent to 3 percent and issued a warning.

"The weakness in growth is driven by a sharp deterioration in manufacturing activity and global trade, with higher tariffs and prolonged trade policy uncertainty damaging investment and demand for capital goods," IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a statement.

Trump China
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He presents President Donald Trump with a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping after Trump announced a "phase one" trade agreement with China in the Oval Office at the White House on October 11. Win McNamee/Getty Images
China Demands U.S. Remove Tariffs Levied During Trade War for Final Deal | News