Yesterday, news broke that the U.S., led by Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, was reaching out to China to arrange a last-minute round of trade negotiations before the next $200 billion in tariffs is imposed. The Wall Street Journal last week suggested (paywall) that those tariffs could be imposed about three weeks after the September 6 close of public comments, meaning end of September or early October.
- China has not formally agreed to more negotiations, but welcomed the invitation.
- “Gao Feng, a spokesman with China’s Ministry of Commerce, told a regular press conference that Beijing had received the invitation and the two sides were discussing details,” the SCMP reports.
- “An escalating trade war is not beneficial to either of the two nations,” Gao added.
- Trump doesn’t see any urgency to ending trade tensions, insisting on Twitter: “we are under no pressure to make a deal with China,” adding, “if we meet, we meet?”
- The other things Trump said in his tweet: He continued to push a false narrative that China’s “markets…are collapsing,” and signalled again that he sees little downside to tariffs: “We will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home.”
- American companies in China disagree; almost two-thirds of them say they are seeing a negative impact from tariffs, and half of them reported increased non-tariff barriers — “qualitative measures” — in China. Additionally, only 6 percent say they would consider moving factories back to the U.S.
- That’s according to a survey of over 430 companies by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai.
- European businesses are also pessimistic: the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China surveyed 193 companies, and found that “total of 17 per cent of respondents reported that they were delaying further investment and/or expansion,” even when their products may not be directly hit by tariffs.
More trade war reporting and links:
- Chinese aid for companies
‘Too little to dent US-China trade war costs’: Guangdong’s tax cuts leave export manufacturers cold / SCMP
“A southern Chinese province’s emergency package of business cost-cutting measures will do little to offset rises in operating expenses and damage from the trade war with the United States, according to factory owners and industry analysts.”
Soyabean, corn futures dip in China as US seeks trade meeting / FT (paywall)
China may use its property markets to defend against Trump’s trade war offensive / CNBC
“Rising property prices in China can help the country fend off some of the negative aspects of the trade war with the United States, according to CLSA property analyst Nicole Wong.”
Trade war pushes China to go on charm offensive over free-trade credentials / SCMP
“And next week’s ‘Summer Davos’ – or the World Economic Forum’s Twelfth Annual Meeting of the New Champions – in Tianjin will serve as the next occasion for Beijing to outline its stance [promoting a free trade image].”
Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage: