The Strategist

US-China trade negotiations are on the final lap

04/29/2019 - 11:52

On Sunday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing are entering the final stage, The New York Times reports.

Washington Foreign Press Center
Washington Foreign Press Center
On Monday, Steven Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer are going to China to try to resolve the remaining disputed issues between the countries. It is expected that the Chinese delegation headed by Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China will arrive to Washington on May 8 to continue - and, possibly, complete - the negotiations.

According to Mnuchin, although both sides are close to reaching an agreement, a lot of work remains to be done. Negotiations are approaching the moment when they either lead to a deal or end without an agreement.

"We are entering the final lap," Mnuchin said in an interview with the publication.

“I think both sides have a desire to reach an agreement,” he added. “We have made great progress.”

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said after another round of trade talks in Washington in early April that he was awaiting a “monumental” trade agreement with China over the next four weeks.

The US Treasury Secretary told CNBC this month that Washington and Beijing are making progress in trade negotiations. In particular, the parties generally agreed on a mechanism that will ensure compliance with the trade agreement.

Mnuchin refused to give details of the remaining obstacles to the trade deal. However, he noted that the new round of negotiations will keep focusing on the long-standing practice of China subsidizing its industry. Mnuchin also expects the parties to discuss Trump’s decision to lift the sanctions on importers of Iranian oil.

China, which imports large quantities of oil from Iran, has criticized this move.

“There are still some important questions that remain open,” said Mnuchin.

He, however, did not specify whether Washington would introduce additional duties on imports from China in case of failure in negotiations with Beijing.