United States, China to discuss trade deal and other grievances on August 15 amid spat

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 05, 2020, 09.40 AM(IST)

US China Trade Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Chinese and US counterparts will air their grievances on matters of mutual interest

United States and China are set to have a dialogue on the phase 1 of their trade deal on August 15 via video conferencing, Reuters reported.

Chinese and US counterparts will air their grievances on matters of mutual interest. Mostly likely, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will represent their respective countries.

Review of the pact

This meting will include a review of the pact which was signed on February 15. First reported by the Wall Street Journal, no confirmation has come in from either sides yet.

Also read: US China trade deal: What were the key issues and are they resolved?

As part of the phase 1 trade deal which was signed in January, China had pledged to increase the purchaser of US goods by $200 billion above levels in 2017. This also included agricultural and manufactured products.

However, owing to the global economic fallout due to COVID-19, China has been unable to meet its commitment and first-year goal of increasing the investment by $77 billion. Additionally, imports of farm goods have decreased recently, and remain way behind the 50 per cent increase needed to meet the 2020 target of $36.5 billion.

China faltering on trade deal

China, so far, has bought only 5 per cent of the energy products required to meet the set goal of $25.3 billion.

Reuters reported that China is expected to raise more than just trade issues at the meeting.

"It's both the normal semi-annual review and also comes at a time when the relationship continues to deteriorate. Naturally there is much to discuss," the person told Reuters.

Also read: No evidence of TikTok misusing data, says Australian PM Scott Morrison

Chinese ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai on Tuesday said that there were plans for high level consultations, as was envisioned in the trade deal.

"If they do have such a meeting I guess it will be very positive," Cui said at a recent event.

US President Donald Trump had earlier threatened to terminate the trade pact in China in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The US has also threatened sanctions against China for national security laws in Hong Kong.

Both the sides have been involved in a diplomatic spat over trade for a couple of years, which has intensified with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. This comes in as the world assumes a largely anti-China rhetoric. For instance, India banned multiple Chinese apps and put a cap on imports. Similarly, UK announced plans to flush out Huawei from its network. Along the same lines, US is seeking a ban on TikTok if it not sold to an American company, with Microsoft in the loop.