The Trump administration and their counterparts in Beijing are considering a trade agreement under which President Trump would withhold levying new tariffs on China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
In exchange for holding back on new tariffs through the spring, China would reconsider some economic policies, which could include intellectual property protections, subsidies to state-owned businesses, opening up its markets and cyber-espionage, according to the report. Trade officials from both countries are said to have been discussing the arrangement for weeks, though it remains unclear whether both parties would sign on.
Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend. A final decision on the proposed arrangement would reportedly not be decided until then.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro – a trade hawk – is expected to attend a dinner between the pair of world leaders, as first reported by the South China Morning Post, which some believe could decrease prospects of progress.
Earlier this week, Trump said he expected to move forward with a plan that would increase tariff rates on $200 billion worth of items from China at the beginning of next year. He told The Wall Street Journal it was “highly unlikely” he would refrain from lifting the levy rates to 25 percent. He also suggested that if talks were unproductive, he would implement tariffs on even more Chinese goods.
On Thursday, he urged U.S. companies in a Twitter post to build in the U.S. in order to avoid tariffs because there is “a long way to go.”