Geneva: The US has decided to further escalate its trade war with China on two separate fronts involving restrictions on Chinese companies for acquiring advanced western technology companies, and forcing new reforms targeted at China at the World Trade Organization, according to people familiar with the development.
After a reset in the strained alliance with the European Union last week, the US signalled its new strategy to intensify the trade battle indefinitely. US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer gave an early indication on 26 July that “it could take years to resolve trade problems with China, suggesting that escalating tariff battle could continue indefinitely,” according to the Washington Trade Daily (WTD). He informed the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice, science, and related agencies that “global tariffs are the only way to ensure that Chinese steel does not come into the US market through other countries,” according to WTD.
The US has also struck a chord with the EU on 25 July for intensifying the war with China. It agreed to a comprehensive framework involving market access for US agricultural products and services. The EU which had all along maintained it will not negotiate with “a gun to our head” finally secured a ceasefire of sorts with US President Donald Trump by agreeing to buy soybeans and LPG in return for Washington’s assurance not to proceed with its proposed 20% unilateral tariff on auto imports from the Europe while talks to resolve all other issues proceed.
President Trump and EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker announced a temporary truce that would keep the Trans-Atlantic alliance intact and avoid any further escalation of a trade war.
The US and the EU will hold further discussions over how to bring down tariffs and other trade barriers related to industrial goods.