Experts share thoughts on possibility of China-U.S. meeting halfway on trade

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 16, 2019 at 6:49 AM

by Mathew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday called upon Washington to meet Beijing "halfway" amid the recent myriad ups and down of trade talks. But it remains unknown what form such a compromise could take, experts said.

The U.S. markets experienced several months of wild swings lately as a result of the U.S.-China trade tensions, with the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average taking an over 700-point nosedive on Monday, its worst trading day this year.

Analysts said market tumult could continue to bombard U.S. markets if no deal is reached between the world's top two economies.

Early this month, the United States released List 4 of tariffs on 300 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods with a new 10-percent tariff, effective from Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 respectively.

China on Thursday vowed to take retaliatory measures if Washington follows through on threats to slap a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

"We hope the U.S. side will meet China halfway, and implement the consensus reached by the two leaders during their meeting in Osaka," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday.

Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Xinhua that it's "encouraging that the Chinese are indicating that they want to resume discussions and that they would like a deal," which builds up hopes that "detailed negotiations can soon resume."

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether Washington will meet Beijing halfway, or cling to its current position. The wayward negotiating strategy of Washington features rattling the other side with sudden reversals in a bid to chip away at their resolve, experts said.

Many also believe that the U.S. elections are undoubtedly a factor that President Donald Trump is considering as he navigates these choppy waters.

"With the Democrats now taking a tough line on China, it would seem that there is not much room for Trump to soften his stance ahead of the 2020 election," Lachman said.

Commenting on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's remark of "meeting halfway", Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said there "seems to be a gap" in between what Washington and Beijing think, "so it is hard to know where halfway would be."

"Beijing remains reactive to what the U.S. initiates and is trying to remain calm as the U.S. sends conflicting signals about what it will accept. But this by itself will not lead to a deal that relieves the tariffs," Paal told Xinhua.