US, China will try again this September 

Published August 18, 2019, 12:38 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

E CARTOON Aug 18, 2019There are growing fears in the world today of a global economic slowdown  as a result of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

US President  Donald  Trump  threatened to impose additional import duties  on Chinese goods starting September 1. In response,  China  let its currency weaken so as to lower the export  prices of its goods, prompting Trump to accuse China of currency manipulation. Chinese buyers also cancelled multi-billion- dollar purchases of US soybeans.

Then Trump unexpectedly announced a delay in the new tariffs on Chinese products – mobile phones laptops, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, footwear and clothing — until December 15 because of “health, safety, national security,  and  other factors.” Trump later said the delay was  in  part to avoid hitting US shoppers this Christmas.

Six months ago,  Chinese  negotiators  were  reported  considering possible concessions, including greater purchases of US farm goods.  But  talks  broke  down  last  May  over how to enforce any settlement.  China  expected  the US to end its tariffs on Chinese goods once an agreement  is  reached, but  the US reportedly  insists that the US tariffs will stay to enforce Chinese compliance.

China’s President Xi Jinping  is now reportedly  getting tougher instead of backing down. With China’s ruling  Communist  Party due to celebrate the  70th anniversary of its assuming power in China on October 1, he cannot  appear  to be  weakening before  what China considers  US  bullying.

The  last  time US and Chinese negotiators met was in July in Shanghai. The negotiators – led by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin  and China  Vice Premier Liu He — are to meet again in September, this time in Washington, DC.

In the last few months of the trade war, some international observers   say it is no longer a simple  matter of China purchasing more US goods so as to correct their lopsided trade balance, which is heavily – four times more –in favor of China,

China  is said to be determined to be a global economic power in robotics, electric cars, and other fields protected  by government subsidies,  but the US and its economic partners – Europe and Japan – accuse China of using technology China acquired from the West  by pressure or even outright theft.

The world, including the Philippines,  can  only  watch  and  wait  as the negotiators of the  two biggest economies on the globe meet again this September. As always, there is hope that concessions will be made  and  agreement  will  be  reached  to end the fears of economic  slowdown  and  raise the world to new levels of development and progress.