The Washington Post
- The US and China have postponed a review of their Phase One trade deal that was initially set for Saturday, Reuters reported.
- Sources familiar with the plans told the news agency that the meeting was postponed due to scheduling conflicts and the need to allow China more time to buy US exports in line with the trade agreement.
- “In contrast to most US-China rhetoric these days, the tone from both sides was refreshingly polite and civilized,” a senior market analyst at OANDA said.
- Data shows Chinese imports of US farm and manufactured goods, energy and services are lagging behind the pace required to meet a first-year target increase of $77 billion over 2017 purchases, Reuters said.
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The US and China have pushed back a review of their Phase One trade deal that was initially organized for Saturday, according to a Reuters report.
No new date has been agreed upon for a review of the deal signed in January.
Sources told Reuters the reason behind the postponement was conflicting schedules between both parties and wanting to give China more time to fulfill commitments to buy certain amounts of US goods.
A conference for senior leaders of the Chinese Communist Party was scheduled for the same day as US talks, and resulted in the delayed deal review, the news agency said.
Apart from that, US officials wanted China to have more time to step up purchases of US goods in line with the agreed deal.
Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, described the postponement as giving China “more time to buy more goodies from the Americans.”
“In contrast to most US-China rhetoric these days, the tone from both sides was refreshingly polite and civilised,” he said.
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Officials from both countries were due to hold discussions Saturday, the six-month anniversary of the deal’s February 15 signing, over a video-conference call. The meeting was meant to review the progress of the deal for the first half of the year.
“Given the chaos of the last couple of months it has at least prevented things from getting any worse,” said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx.
China is the third-largest export market for the US and purchases aircraft, machinery, medical goods, and agricultural products, and much more.
The deal requires China to increase its purchases of US farm and manufactured products, energy and services by $200 billion over the next two years. All of this is on top of the purchases it made in 2017. Data suggests China is far from reaching this target.
China’s total imports of products from the US totalled $40.2 billion compared to a prorated year-to-date total of $86.3 billion. That means China’s compliance was less than 50%.
However, ever since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were relaxed, China’s purchases have increased. The US Department of Agriculture on Friday reported the sale of 126,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, the eighth consecutive weekday of large sales to China.
Officials from President Trump’s administrations have indicated that they are satisfied with the pace of the deal and have no plans to abandon the agreement.
The deal also reportedly includes some increased access for US financial firms in China, bolstered intellectual property protections, and the elimination of some agricultural trade barriers.
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