No new top-level trade talks between the US and China are planned, but the parties are keeping in touch regarding the implementation of the deal’s first phase. This is what White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows announced on 18 August aboard the US president’s plane.
Earlier in the day, the US president told reporters that he had postponed the talks where the parties were going to analyse the progress of the first phase of the Sino-US trade deal. The deal was signed in January, the negotiations were scheduled for last Saturday. Donald Trump said he didn’t want to talk to China at the moment because he was not happy with Beijing’s actions regarding the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the president evaded the question of whether it was possible that the United States would withdraw from the trade deal.
Andrey Manoylo, professor at the Department of Political Science at Moscow State University, said Trump's statement was a pressure tactic in trade talks with China:
"Trump’s statement is not an accident. It states the political course he is pursuing. Linking accusations against China to its responsibility for the pandemic is one of the levers of pressure on China. The goal is to force it to sign a second phase trade deal on US terms."
Donald Trump held a briefing in Yuma, Arizona, where he tried to divert the attention of potential voters from the Democratic convention. A few hours after Trump's campaign event, Joe Biden was officially announced as his party's presidential candidate. The Democratic nominee pledged to rebuild pandemic-shattered America and end the chaos indicative of the Republican presidential administration.
Observers also highlighted yesterday’s speech by former Secretary of State John Kerry at the four-day Democratic convention, where the retired diplomat and experienced politician called Donald Trump’s foreign policy “incoherent.” This president’s trips abroad are not missions of goodwill, but idle chatter, John Kerry said.
The United States deserves a president who is looked at, not who is laughed at, he said.
Who is a more preferable trade dialogue partner for China, Trump's or Biden’s team, if he takes office? For Shi Yinhong from the Institute of International Relations at Renmin University of China, there’s not much difference between the two:
"Both Trump and Biden are rather unfavourable partners for China in terms of Sino-US trade. While Biden might not be an outspoken supporter of a tariff war against China, he has no doubts about the current US policy. Together with Europe, Japan and South Korea, they seek to contain China’s development of China in the field of high and new technologies. Trump is currently very unhappy that epidemic-affected China cannot fully meet its obligations to import US goods under the first phase trade deal. Moreover, Trump is still forcing China to buy as much as possible under this agreement. Speaking of Biden, his taking office could help stem further deterioration of Sino-US relations."
The policy towards China is unlikely to change if the Democrats and Joe Biden come to power, despite the changing of the sign at the White House, Andrey Manoylo said:
"Most likely, the Democrats wouldn’t start a trade war with China. But since it was Trump that started it, all the errors can be attributed to Trump if he loses the election. If the Democrats come to power, they won’t end the sanctions tactics against China. On the contrary, they can increase the pressure and try to use the results of Trump’s policies, given that Trump has already done all the rough work in this direction. Therefore, there is no difference."
The expert explained that Joe Biden is likely to continue the policy of reducing the trade deficit with China using the same methods as Trump:
"The key point for Americans here is not the value of a partnership with China, but the profit they can get in various ways, including through direct blackmail, as Trump is doing now. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have very simple tactics. If you can get something by taking money or values from your partner, there is absolutely no need to build any trading schemes with them. You just need to take it. Joe Biden will also opt for the policy of robbery. The US will remember that China is a priority trading partner when the window of opportunity for robbery closes due to the US trade deficit. But at the same time, they will also try to impose trade conditions that are more favorable for themselves during the negotiations."
Meanwhile, American business is looking for new opportunities in the Chinese market despite the prolonged cold political winter. The South China Morning Post reported, citing its sources in AmCham China, that the US Chamber of Commerce had received permission to organise a charter flight for the heads of companies operating in China to come back there. They left China due to the pandemic. There are almost 200 people wishing to come back. Initially, it was set to return only 120 managers. The Chamber of Commerce said that only those who had worked for the companies of the association before the pandemic would be allowed on the flight. The estimated dates of return to China are 18 August – 12 September.
Earlier in May, the German Chamber of Commerce in China organized a similar charter flight to Tianjin.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.