The US President,Mr. Donald Trump, has said that tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a 'substantial period,' dampening hopes that a new trade agreement would see these lifted soon.
He said at the White House in Washington, 'We are talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time.' He continued, 'We have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal.' The trade talks were 'coming along nicely' and Washington and Beijing were battling over the final shape of an agreement that both sides have said they would like to reach, with American officials demanding profound changes to Chinese policy.
American officials have also insisted that any agreement have teeth -- including the ability to impose tariffs unilaterally should China begin backsliding on any commitments to end alleged unfair trade practices.
Over the last eight months, the US and China have slapped tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars in two-way goods trade, weighing on the manufacturing sectors.
Recently China's rubber-stamp parliament approved a foreign investment law to strengthen protections for intellectual property -- a central US grievance -- but critics said the bill was rammed through without sufficient time for input from businesses.
Beijing has expressed willingness to increase purchases of US commodities such as energy and soybeans but analysts say they will be reluctant to accede to American demands in ways that could weaken the communist party's hold on power -- such as fully exposing state enterprises to market forces.