The United States has agreed to lift its tariffs on industrial metals from Mexico and Canada, clearing a major obstacle to congressional passage of President Trump's new North American trade deal. The bargain calls for Mexico and Canada to adopt tough new monitoring and enforcement measures to prevent Chinese steel from being shipped to the U.S. via their territory.
Companies were bracing Monday for how Beijing might retaliate against President Trump's escalation of a fight over technology and trade that threatens to disrupt a Chinese economic recovery. China has threatened "necessary countermeasures" for Mr. Trump's tariff hikes Friday on $200 billion of Chinese imports. But three days later, in a break with previous tit-for-tat penalties that were imposed immediately, Beijing had yet to announce what it might do.
As a tool of national policy, tariffs had long been fading into history, a relic of the 19th and early 20th centuries that most experts came to see as harmful to all nations involved. Yet more than any other modern president, Trump has embraced tariffs as a punitive tool -- against Europe, Canada and other key trading partners but especially against China, the second-largest economy after the U.S.
President Donald Trump boosted tariffs Friday on $200 billion in goods from China and was preparing more in his most dramatic steps yet to extract trade concessions, further roiling financial markets and casting a shadow over the global economy. China immediately said in a statement it is forced to retaliate, though hadn’t specified how as of 3:55 p.m. in Beijing.
In pursuit of a trade deal with China, nothing else measures up to securing real, enforceable protections of American intellectual property. Not tariffs, not more exports, not closing the trade deficit. In fact, stopping China’s theft of American IP will go a long way toward easing all other points of contention. This must remain a non-negotiable.
The U.S. trade deficit fell for the second straight month in February, and the politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between the goods and services that the United States sells and what it buys from the rest of the world dropped 3.4 percent to $49.4 billion in February, the lowest since June.
President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser says the U.S. and China are “closer and closer” to a trade deal, and that top-tier officials would be talking again this week via “a lot of teleconferencing.” Larry Kudlow’s “guarded optimism, maybe more than guarded optimism” on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday came after China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that progress was made during talks in Washington that ended Friday.
China will reduce direct government intervention in its vast industrial sector, the industry minister said on Monday, as Beijing seeks to ease concerns about its industrial policy, core to Washington's complaints in the Sino-U.S. trade war. The government's pledge to reduce its influence over operational matters in China's manufacturing sector follows an apparent toning down of its high-tech industrial push, which has long annoyed the United States.
Hayman Capital Management founder Kyle Bass thinks any trade deal with China must include enforcement mechanisms against intellectual property theft for the U.S. to truly benefit from it. “Over the last decade, they’ve stolen $2-to-$3 trillion in IP from us. The U.S.′ No. 1 asset, in my view, is our ingenuity, our intellectual property, our ability to innovate...