Trade Deal between U.S. and China indicates progress as relations fray

Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China

China and the U.S restated their commitment to the stage one trade deal in a biannual review, exhibiting an ability to collaborate even as tensions rise over issues that range from data security to democracy in Hong Kong.

The two nations examined steps China has taken, including guaranteeing more noteworthy assurance for protection of intellectual property rights and removing impediments to American companies in financial services and agriculture, the U.S. Trade Representative said. Both sides agreed to create conditions to push the deal forward, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

Settling the trade war between the U.S. and China has risen as an uncommon zone of participation as the relationship sours on a number of other fronts. However, Beijing is a long way behind where it should be to meet its promises to increase purchases of agricultural, energy and manufactured goods from the U.S.

China would need to buy about $130 billion in the second half of this year to comply with the original terms of the agreement signed in January, in which it agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion of American goods and services over the 2017 level by the end of 2021.

“The statement at least tells us that Trump’s administration still treasures the trade deal,” said Raymond Yeung, greater China chief economist with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “China’s buying of U.S. agricultural and energy products is still an attractive proposition before the presidential election. This suggests that we are not really seeing a full decoupling of the two economies.”

“The parties also discussed the significant increases in purchases of U.S. products by China as well as future actions needed to implement the agreement,” the U.S. said in its statement. Both sides also discussed enhancing macro-policy coordination, according to the Chinese readout.

China has gained a considerable measure of ground on its commitments. It adjusted regulations to allow imports of an assortment of American farm and food products, while removing foreign equity caps in insurance, securities, and futures. It also lowered other financial market barriers and gave the green light to enterprises like American Express Co., MasterCard Inc. and Fitch Ratings Inc. to enter its market.

U.S. oil exports to China are set to reach a record one month from now, with about 19 tankers signing provisional bookings to load American crude for the Asian nation in September, according to shipping fixtures, which are subject to change. If all of them set sail, exports could total 37 million barrels, the most on record for a single month.

China’s traditions additionally reinforced a crackdown on counterfeits and released quarterly reports as set out in the agreement. The Supreme Court has issued a series of work guidelines and implementation plans on ensuring and improving legal enforcement of violations of intellectual property rights, while the National Intellectual Property Administration also published a work plan for strengthening IP protection in 2020 and 2021.

Trump has projected a more conciliatory tone than he did in early May, when he threatened in a Fox News interview that “if they don’t buy, we’ll terminate the deal, very simple.” In recent days he has sounded more satisfied with Beijing’s compliance with the trade deal even if he’s not happy about China’s method of handling of the coronavirus.

Source: Blooomberg

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