US, China in Final Stages of Completing Trade Deal

US, China in Final Stages of Completing Trade Deal

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200bn worth of Chinese goods as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on American goods.

A slew of surveys has highlighted how much manufacturers are suffering worldwide, particularly those exposed to China's slowdown, and added to expectations that central bank policy tightening is as good as finished.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan took the lead and climbed 0.1 per cent for their second straight day of gains.

The S&P 500 index fell 26 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,777. Namely, China is expected to remain firm on its stance on the structural reforms and industrial policy changes requested by the US, which analysts say could remain as the final roadblock in the trade discussions.

The Wall Street Journal reported Washington could lift most or all of its tariffs on Beijing while a summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a final trade deal could happen later this month. The National People's Congress, China's rubber stamp parliament, begins its annual session on Tuesday.

Beijing is offering to lower tariffs and other restrictions on American farm, chemical, auto, and other products, . while Washington is considering removing most, if not all tariffs placed on Chinese products since previous year.

"We hope that the two sides will continue to hold consultations and reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement", he added. China is also willing to buy $18 billion worth natural gas from Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc.

A senior administration official cautioned on Sunday that a decision had not yet been made over lifting the U.S tariffs.

As part of the deal, China would reduce tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current level of 15 percent and increase the purchase of United States goods, including an $18 billion buy of natural gas from Cheniere Energy Inc., the report said. China's restrictions on data will also go untouched in the deal.

As said by Yang Guangpu, an associate research fellow at a China's State Council think tank called the Development Research Center, China is highly unlikely to speed up the process of carrying out structural reforms as a part of the trade deal.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the US and China were close to finalizing a trade deal.

Trump and members of his economic team have has sounded optimistic about the chances for sealing a deal.

Chinese negotiators have also offered to speed up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limits on auto ventures and to reduce tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current 15 percent rate, according to the Journal. China bought US$130 billion in USA goods in 2017, according to USA figures.

After several rounds of face-to-face meetings between US and Chinese officials since a year ago, the sides are now in regular contact via phone and video-conference to hammer out the details of a deal.

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