Progress Has Been Made on Trade War Negotiations

Trade war madness continues.

Just a day ago, China said we may not see a signed agreement until December 2019.  Now, just moments ago, we’re learning they have agreed with the U.S. to cancel existing tariffs in phases.  Better, Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry says both sides were “closer to a phase one trade agreement after constructive negotiations.

“If China, U.S. reach a phase-one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously based on the content of the agreement, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement,” Gao said, as quoted by Bloomberg.

However, this doesn’t mean anything will be signed this month.

“I am skeptical on how fast the progress will be,” said Iris Pang, economist with ING Bank NV, as also quoted by Bloomberg. “How fast the roll back will be is critical to get material and long-lasting positive sentiment for the market as well as for both economies.”

Adding momentum, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs noted they were also looking into removing restrictions on U.S. poultry imports.  

However, there’s internal opposition in the White House.

As Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro told Fox Business, “there is no agreement at this time to remove any of the existing tariffs as a condition of the ‘phase one’ deal.  Navarro is also denying that Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators reached a deal to roll back tariffs, as reported by The Hill

“I heard someone joke today that negotiations with the Chinese don’t really begin until you have a handshake deal, and I think that’s maybe what’s going on here. The spectacle of the Chinese propaganda press putting out information like that — they’re just negotiating in public trying to push us in a direction. The president makes these decisions,” he added.

So, things are still up in the air with regards to what’s going on here.