USA calls China’s tariffs on American autos ‘egregious’

Andrew Cummings
December 3, 2018

The US is very close to a trade deal with China, President Donald Trump has said, but remained noncommittal to its final outcome ahead of his meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.

The United States and China, on the eve of the G20 summit in Argentina, are mulling an agreement in which Washington would delay imposition of future tariffs in exchange for talks on a major overhaul of Chinese economic and trade practices, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

If there is no progress, Trump is prepared to raise tariffs on US$ 200 billion of imports to 25% from current levels of 10%, and could add tariffs on another US$ 267 billion of imports, Kudlow said. CGTN's Jessica Stone unraveled this in a report.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would be robust when she talks to Prince Mohammed, urging him to hold a full and credible investigation into Khashoggi's killing and hold those responsible to account.

Facing the prospect of a no-statement summit, European delegations were trying to create a common front and may come out with their own separate declaration if they can't get the US or others on board.

The meeting between Trump and Putin is set to be just one of several high-profile foreign-policy engagements for the USA leader on the whirlwind two-day visit to Argentina. -China summit, the top US trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing "egregious" taxes on American-made cars.

At the same time, the Trump-Xi summit is still shrouded in secrecy despite its importance.

"China should change its practices and come into the community of responsible trading nations", Kudlow said, stressing that he considers the United States economy in far better shape than China's to weather a prolonged trade war.

The Post also reported that negotiations between the two country's trade teams were rescheduled at the last minute to take place in Buenos Aires, bypassing Washington, so the two leaders could have more first-hand guidance on the progress of the talks, expected to take place in tandem with the G20 leaders' summit.

"As this is a hard moment for global cooperation, I would like to appeal to the leaders to use this summit to seriously discuss real issues such as trade wars, the tragic situation in Syria and Yemen and the Russian aggression in Ukraine", European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference in Buenos Aires. He contended that Beijing "must do more" to address US concerns. President Trump has indicated he is open.

Saudi Arabia has denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role, but some leaders may be cool toward him to avoid seeming to legitimize a man who USA intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing.

Earlier Tuesday, Kudlow expressed skepticism about Trump striking a deal with Xi on Saturday.

Trump rejected a statement by fellow leaders of the G7 industrialized economies at a summit in May after a tense gathering ended in acrimony, again over tariffs and trade. "And we'll see", Trump said.

One bright spot in Buenos Aires on Friday before the summit opened was the signing of a revised U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The three countries agreed a deal in principle to govern their trillion dollars of mutual trade after a year and a half of contentious talks concluded with a late-night bargain just an hour before a deadline on September 30.

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