An ambitious “phase two” trade deal between the United States and China is looking less likely as the two countries struggle to strike a preliminary “phase one” agreement, according to U.S. and Beijing officials, lawmakers and trade experts, APA reports citing Reuters.
In October, U.S. President Donald Trump said during a press conference with Chinese vice premier Liu He that he expected to quickly dive into a second phase of talks once “phase one” had been completed. The second phase would focus on a key U.S. complaint that China effectively steals U.S. intellectual property by forcing U.S. companies to transfer their technology to Chinese rivals, he said at the time.
But the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, the difficulties in getting the first-stage done, combined with the White House’s reluctance to work with other countries to pressure Beijing are dimming hopes for anything more ambitious in the near future, the sources said.
The 16-month trade war with China has thrown U.S. businesses and farmers into turmoil, disrupted global supply chains and been a drag on economies worldwide. Failure to address a key reason it was started is already raising questions about whether the sacrifice has been worth it. Meanwhile, many of Beijing’s trade practices that many free-market economies see as unfair remain unaddressed.