As high-level officials prepare to descend on Washington for the latest round of trade talks, China has reportedly indicated that it would be open to accepting a partial deal with the United States — if President Donald Trump nixes upcoming planned tariff hikes on Chinese imports.
A Bloomberg report, which cited an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the discussions, noted that Beijing’s representatives “aren’t optimistic about securing a broad agreement” that would put an end to the yearlong financial dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
However, the source noted that China was willing to strike a limited agreement as long as Trump drops the added duties set to take effect Oct. 15 and in December.
Over the past year and a half, the U.S. president has initiated four tranches of tariffs on Chinese products, recently postponing additional levies on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods — representing the combined first three tranches. The 5% duty increase, which was originally scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, will now be imposed to Oct. 15.
Another group of levies — the fourth tranche — impacts $300 billion in Chinese imports, including footwear, apparel and other consumer products. On Sept. 1, Washington hit Beijing with a 15% levy on $112 billion worth of those items. Tariffs on the remaining $188 billion will be implemented on Dec. 15.
In exchange for the Trump administration’s compliance, China would offer the U.S. “non-core concessions,” including the purchase of more agricultural products, the source reportedly told Bloomberg.
The news comes a day before trade negotiations between the two countries are scheduled to resume. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet on Thursday, followed by a potential meeting with Trump on Friday.
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