Trump raises hopes of China trade deal

Under pressure to liberalise its economy China is making the right noises. But there are no free lunches

Mr Trump says the new import tariffs are meant to punish China for "unfair" practices, such as theft of intellectual property, state subsidies of Chinese companies, and barriers to foreign firms.

Trump has already imposed steep tariffs on US$250 billion (S$340 billion) of Chinese goods, and has threatened to hit another US$267 billion, which would be all imports from the worlds number two economy.

The two sides have been far apart during their months-long tariff dispute, and a source briefed on China's response said it reiterated commitments Xi has made in recent speeches, and demanded that the United States lift tariffs.

The U.S. tariff rate on $200-billion in Chinese goods is set to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on January 1.

Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports, about US$267 billion worth, if Beijing fails to address USA demands.

Trump told reporters Friday that the Chinese response was largely complete but was missing four or five big issues, signaling that tough discussions still need to take place between the two sides as they head into the November 30-Dec.

However, he said that several key items were lacking, meaning that the list was still "not acceptable to me yet".

And Mr Navarro said a deal with China agreed under pressure from Wall Street would bear a "stench". "If there is a deal to be had with China it's a deal that has to be in America's interests.... He was freelancing. He was not representing the president or the administration".

Senior administration officials have argued that such negotiations by previous American presidents have resulted in Washington being outplayed by the Chinese, who have used the US political calendar as an advantage.

Gao gave no details of the talks or of which officials were conducting them.

In his earlier remarks on China, Pence seemed to offer criticism and a warning to Beijing when he said that "empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific".

When asked by a reporter from Voice of America about Taiwan, Pence repeated earlier statements that Taiwan's embrace of democracy provides a better path for all Chinese people to follow, while emphasizing that the USA would stand by its obligations to the island country, without specifically mentioning any particular agreement or treaty, reports Liberty Times. "Impossible", he said, according to Bloomberg.

William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said not enough time is left before the G-20 to hammer out a comprehensive deal given the continuing discussions and the complexity of the unresolved issues.

"I think we'll probably get them too", he added.

"It's hard for me to imagine that they can in one or two meetings and in a day solve all of the things that they have put on the table", Reinsch said.

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