Exclusive: U.S. demands regular review of China trade reform

U.S. | 1/18/2019 | Michael Martina
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BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pushing for regular reviews of China’s progress on pledged trade reforms as a condition for a trade deal - and could again resort to tariffs if it deems Beijing has violated the agreement, according to sources briefed on negotiations to end the trade war between the two nations.

A continuing threat of tariffs hanging over commerce between the world’s two largest economies would mean a deal would not end the risk of investing in businesses or assets that have been impacted by the trade war.

Threat - Tariffs - Deal - Sources - Talks

“The threat of tariffs is not going away, even if there is a deal,” said one of three sources briefed on the talks who spoke with Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Chinese negotiators were not keen on the idea of regular compliance checks, the source said, but the U.S. proposal “didn’t derail negotiations.”

Source - United - States - Assessments

A Chinese source said the United States wants “periodic assessments” but it’s not yet clear how often.

“It looks like humiliation,” the source said. “But perhaps the two sides could find a way to save face for the Chinese government.”

Administration - US - President - Donald - Trump

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed import tariffs on Chinese goods to put pressure on Beijing to meet a long list of demands that would rewrite the terms of trade between the two countries.

The demands include changes to China’s policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and other trade barriers.

Enforcement - Verification - Process - Trade - Deals

An enforcement and verification process is unusual for trade deals and is akin to the process around punitive economic sanctions such as those imposed on North Korea and Iran.

Disputes over trade are more typically dealt with through courts, the World Trade Organization (WTO) or through arbitration panels and other dispute settlement mechanisms built into trade agreements.

Trump - Team - WTO - China

Trump’s team has criticized the WTO for failing to hold China accountable...
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