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Easing of Trade Tensions with China Possible at G-20 Meeting

11/30/2018

The direct meeting between the leaders of the World’s two largest economies may result in an easing of the trade war based on reciprocal imposition of tariffs. Since both Presidents have political motivation for a lessening in tensions some interim measure such as the U.S. agreeing to delay imposing a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in imports from China would create an atmosphere for more extensive negotiations.

 

At issue is a new “Trade Architecture” combining abolition of misappropriation of intellectual property, state subsidies by the government of China allowing enterprises to compete with the U.S. and the E.U. and eliminating both cyber-espionage and coercive joint-venture agreements.

 

Whether or not the powers can agree to a truce will depend on who has the ear of the President. Uber-sinophobe Dr. Peter Navarro and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are firm in their support of pre-election rhetoric. They are countered by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Director of the National Economics Council Larry Kudlow, who advise dialog and moderation. 

 

Certainly many farmers hope that some agreement will be reached which will permit resumption of exports of soybeans and also contribute to a strengthened U.S. economy.