U.S. to maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until Phase 2 deal - Mnuchin

By Makini Brice and Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday, a day before the two sides are to sign an interim deal.

Reuters January 15, 2020 06:06:52 IST
U.S. to maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until Phase 2 deal - Mnuchin

US to maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until Phase 2 deal  Mnuchin

By Makini Brice and Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday, a day before the two sides are to sign an interim deal.

Mnuchin told reporters that President Donald Trump could consider easing tariffs if the world's two largest economies move quickly to seal a follow-up agreement.

"If the president gets a Phase 2 in place quickly, he'll consider releasing tariffs as part of Phase 2," Mnuchin said.

Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1 trade agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. (1630 GMT). The signing occurs a week before the U.S. Senate is due to begin its impeachment trial of the U.S. president.

Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached when the House last month approved charges that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden and obstructed Congress.

Concerns about the trade deal weighed on U.S. stocks on Tuesday, sending shares lower after a Bloomberg report suggested U.S. tariffs could remain in place until after the November presidential election.

New data showed that the costs of Trump's trade wars were proving more widespread, deeper and longer-lasting https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-effects/drag-from-trumps-trade-wars-continues-to-ripple-through-us-economy-idUSKBN1ZD2GU to American manufacturing competitiveness and jobs than previously believed.

Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said earlier there was no agreement in place with China on further tariff reductions.

In a joint statement, they said all aspects of the Phase 1 trade deal with China would be made public on Wednesday, except a confidential annex that will detail U.S. products and services to be purchased by China.

"There are no other oral or written agreements between the United States and China on these matters, and there is no agreement for future reduction in tariffs. Any rumours to the contrary are categorically false," they said.

After the Phase 1 deal was reached last month, Washington agreed to suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese-made cellphones, laptop computers and other goods that were due to take effect on Dec. 15, and to halve existing tariffs on $120 billion of other goods to 7.5%. It kept in place 25% tariffs on $250 billion of other Chinese goods.

BEARING THE COST

U.S. companies have paid $46 billion in tariffs since Trump began restructuring relationships with nearly all of Washington's major trading partners, U.S. data showed.

Trump insists the tariffs are paid by the countries against which they are levied, but U.S. economists and businesses say they bear the brunt of the costs.

Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 business associations that oppose tariffs, said the Phase 1 trade deal would do little to alleviate the burden of billions of dollars in tariffs being paid by U.S. businesses.

"The vast majority of the tariffs – which are taxes paid by Americans and not China – will remain in place, continuing to damage the American economy," said spokesman Jonathan Gold.

(Reporting by Makini Brice, Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.