The Chinese government has presented an offer to the United States to try to push forward stalled trade talks before the leaders of the two economic superpowers meet at the end of this month, according to two people briefed on the discussions.
However, the chasm between the two sides on issues such as Chinese industrial policy and intellectual property theft remained vast and any post-G20 negotiations were likely to be hard, he said. Thus negotiations between the two countries are postponed for an indefinite period.
The US is reportedly preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by December if talks between Trump and Xi at the G-20 summit don't result in any positive outcome with respect to trade negotiations. However, the sources gave no details and it was not clear if the response contained concessions that would satisfy President Trump.
"The president's attitude is, we want to make sure they know where we stand, what we are prepared to do, so they can come to Argentina with concrete proposals that address not just the trade deficit that we face".
"If Beijing is willing, on the one hand, to reduce the scope of unequal bilateral trade and guarantee that USA intellectual property rights will not be infringed upon or forced to hand over technology, there is a good chance the two can reach a consensus", he said.
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"Mnuchin and Kudlow can not create a trade deal".
"That way Trump would have to accept [the offer]", Chiu said.
It is too early to tell whether China's offer would be sufficient to preclude an increase in USA tariffs at the start of 2019, he said. Those with vested interests, the heads of state-owned enterprises also keep arguing that they can help China weather the storm.
Ross played down the impact of the midterm congressional elections on the discussions with China and the upcoming 2020 campaign, saying America's domestic political calendar would not "drive the talks".
China has also proved that it's aware of its own commercial self-interest and the impact its own retaliatory measures were having on it, Ross said, pointing to Beijing's decision to reduce a 25% retaliatory tariff on US LNG to 10%. In Beijing, Trump's move was seen as an insult to Xi, who sent Liu to Washington for the negotiations, and cemented a view that Trump's real goal was to thwart China's rise.
The Trump administration has said that it wanted a substantive response to a long list of demands for what it calls "structural" changes in Chinese industrial policy. At the same time, Washington is unlikely to drop its restrictions or increased scrutiny of Chinese high-tech firms, Shi said.