Trump trade deal comes under anti-China fire

Trading foreign favors for Trump business?

President Donald Trump tweeted twice Monday about a possible trade deal with China and how it could benefit us farmers.

"Our Trade Deal with China is moving along nicely, but in the end we will probably have to use a different structure in that this will be too hard to get done and to verify results after completion", Trump said in the tweet. Negotiations in Washington last week ended with China agreeing to buy more imports from the USA, averting for now the imposition of US tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese products.

Several administration officials were then obliged to walk back optimistic comments that China would agree to cut its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200bn, largely by increasing USA imports.

The message comes one day after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it had completed an investigation into certain steel imports from Vietnam and found that China had been funneling its steel dumping through Vietnam to circumvent anti-dumping measures.

China will cut import duties on most passenger vehicles to 15 percent from 25 percent effective July 1, in a bid to open up China's market, boosting competition and bolstering the local auto sector, the Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, as carried by Reuters.

"China's annual gas production will more than double to 340 billion cubic meters (BCM) in 2040, with shale gas a major contributor, but consumption is foreseen to grow even faster, reaching 600 billion cubic meters", the agency said. That's where the jobs and future lie, but they also run counter to China's avowed aim of becoming a world leader in advanced technologies itself, per its Made in China 2025 policy. President Donald Trump has suggested he might soften those penalties as part of a trade deal, but Congress is considering a bill to block him from doing so. I dont like to talk about deals until theyre done.

"We believe that European exports of steel and aluminum pose no threat to either the American economy, the steel industry or to American security", said David O'Sullivan, the EU's ambassador to the United States.

These criticisms are linked to Trump's decision to search for some way of penalising the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE other than the Commerce Department's decision to ban the sales of United States components to the firm, effectively putting it out of business.

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Still, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said China had agreed to dramatically increase purchases of USA farm and energy products. Responding to a reporter's question about the U.S. He promised to work hard to resolve bilateral trade imbalances and other issues, and announced first-stage tariff reductions on USA auto imports from the current 25 per cent to 15 per cent. "We're looking at the possibility of things turning around here".

The president's misgivings open the prospect that a trade war Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had declared "on hold" is at risk of resuming. "On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time".

Is that what the US really wants, though, to become a raw material and agricultural products exporter like Russian Federation or Brazil?

Asked by reporters if he was happy with the direction of the negotiations with China, Trump said "no, not really" and then added later "they're a start".

The potential damage to United States interests is compounded by the fact that China, now led by its strongest President in generations, is rarely accused of playing a short-term game - and thinks in decades and centuries rather than the blinks of time between U.S. elections.

It may be still early days in the US-China trade conflict.

"We have been taken again", trade expert William Reinsch said on the new "Trade Guys" podcast produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Last month, China imposed hefty dumping duties of 179 percent on imports of the grain, which tends to be a cheaper feed alternative to corn. Brussels has also ruled out voluntary export restraints where European steel makers would limit exports to America but receive higher prices in exchange for the U.S. removing its tariff threats.

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