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Washington’s Decision To End Iran Oil Waivers, Will Not Impact U.S. China Trade Talks

"The smart thing would be to remove the tariffs on all of the parts and components, and perhaps on some consumer goods. It seems likely to get that compromise,"

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington’s decision to end Iran oil waivers to China will not have a negative impact on the latest trade talks between two countries. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington’s decision to end Iran oil waivers to China will not have a negative impact on the latest trade talks between the world’s two leading economies.

“We have had lots of talks with China about this issue. I’m confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course,” Pompeo told an audience in Washington on Monday.

China is Iran’s largest oil buyer.

Pompeo added the U.S. would ensure the global oil markets are adequately supplied.

Last Monday, the United States announced it was ending waivers on sanctions to countries that import Iranian oil, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. Since the sanctions were reintroduced, Italy, Greece and Taiwan have halted their Iranian oil imports.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing on Tuesday, for the latest round of negotiations. The two sides will discuss intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, and other issues.

Vice Premier Liu will then lead a Chinese delegation to Washington for additional talks on May 8.

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There has to be something for China. On the other hand, I guess I will be surprised if the U.S. removed all of the tariffs because clearly, the USTR team would like to keep at least some of them in place. VOA

Washington and Beijing have held several rounds this year to resolve a trade war that began in 2018 when President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. He has been trying to compel Beijing to change its trade practices. China retaliated with tariff increases on $110 billion of U.S. exports.

Positive tone

The U.S. and China have struck a positive tone ahead of this week’s talks in Beijing, aimed at ending the trade war, as both countries work toward an agreement.

“We’re doing well on trade, we’re doing well with China,” President Trump told reporters last week.

In Beijing, Chinese officials said that “tangible progress” has been achieved.

“Both sides are also maintaining communication. We believe that both sides’ trade delegations can work together, meet each other halfway and work hard to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said last week.

As the United States and China appear close to reaching a negotiated settlement over trade disputes, a group of American business and retailers has called for a “full and immediate removal of all added tariffs” on Chinese goods in a deal, saying anything less would be a “loss for the American people.”

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“Americans have paid over $21 billion in taxes due to the imposition of new tariffs,” said a letter to President Trump April 22.
Pixabay

Business groups from “Americans for Free Trade” have asked the Trump administration to “fully eliminate tariffs” on Chinese goods, saying tariffs are taxes that American businesses and consumers pay.

“Americans have paid over $21 billion in taxes due to the imposition of new tariffs,” said a letter to President Trump April 22.

Some experts say the administration lacks confidence in China’s enforcement of a trade deal, and predict some punitive tariffs are likely to remain.

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“I cannot imagine China accepting a deal where all the tariffs stay in place. I don’t see how [Chinese President] Xi Jinping can take that to his people. There has to be something for China. On the other hand, I guess I will be surprised if the U.S. removed all of the tariffs because clearly, the USTR team would like to keep at least some of them in place,” David Dollar, Brookings Institution’s senior fellow, told VOA Mandarin.

“The smart thing would be to remove the tariffs on all of the parts and components, and perhaps on some consumer goods. It seems likely to get that compromise,” he added. (VOA)

Next Story

Mike Pompeo Pushes India to Drop Trade Barriers, Give Access to US in Local Markets

Pompeo's remarks at the U.S.-India Business Council refer to a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump

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Mike Pompeo, India, Trade
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the India Ideas Summit in Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019. VOA

The United States is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India by allowing Americans companies more access to Indian markets, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday ahead of a visit to New Delhi later this month.

Pompeo’s remarks at the U.S.-India Business Council refer to a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to end preferential trade treatment for India from June 5 over the trade barriers.

“We remain open to dialogue, and we hope that our friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness” of their own companies, Pompeo said ahead of his June 24-30 travels to India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea.

“We’ll also push for the free flow of data across borders” not just to help American companies — but to protect data and ensure consumer privacy.

Mike Pompeo, India, Trade
The United States is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India. Pixabay

He added: “And speaking of privacy, we are eager to help India establish secure communications networks — including 5G networks.”

The privileges come under the General System of Preferences, or GSP, which had been allowing preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year into the United States from the South Asian nations. India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP program.

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Washington has been particularly annoyed by India’s tightening of regulations that have undermined major U.S. companies but favored domestic entities in the past year. In particular, tighter e-commerce rules that came in earlier this year hurt Amazon.com and Walmart, which last year bought Indian online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion. (VOA)