US, China "Very Far Apart" On Trade, Ambassador Warns

Despite Trump apparently folding in the ongoing trade war with China by consenting to reingage Chinese telecom ZTE, the two sides remain far apart in the ongoing discussions how to shrink the US trade deficit (and Chinese surplus), and as US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad said on Tuesday, the US wants China to give a timetable on how it will open up its markets to US exports as the two countries are still “very far apart” on resolving trade frictions.

Terry Branstad, US ambassador to China

While a US delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin presented China earlier this month with a list of demands to tackle allegations of intellectual property theft and other trade policies Washington considers unfair, it failed to achieve any success and the two countries failed to reach an agreement on the long list of US demands and decided to resume talks in Washington.

Branstad, who was present at the meeting, said the Chinese appeared to be “taken back” by the significance of the list, and said that "The Chinese have said ‘we want to see the specifics.’ We gave them all the specifics in terms of trade issues. So they can’t say they don’t know what we’re asking for."

“We’re still very far apart,” Branstad said quoted by the SCMP, adding that China has not met pledges to open up its insurance and financial services area, as well as reduce car tariffs.

“There are many areas where China has promised to do but haven’t. We want to see a timetable. We want to see these things happen sooner than later,” he said at a conference in Tokyo.

Branstad also said US President Donald Trump would like to see a “dramatic increase” in food exports to China. “We’d like to see China being just as open as the United States,” he said.

As is well known, the Trump administration has drawn a hard line in trade talks with China, demanding a US$200 billion cut in the Chinese trade surplus with the United States, sharply lower tariffs and advanced technology subsidies. Trump has proposed tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese goods under its “Section 301” probe. Those could go into effect in June following the completion of a 60-day consultation period, but activation plans have been kept vague.

Meanwhile, China warned that its own retaliatory tariffs on US goods, including soybeans and aircraft, will go into effect if the US duties are imposed.

Branstad said the United States could rescind the “Section 301” tariffs if China moved forward on opening up its agriculture and car markets.

“I think it could be adjusted,” he said. “It’s possible, depending upon how the trade talks go.” Increasing US exports of liquified natural gas could also be an area the two countries could agree on as trade talks resume in Washington this week, he said.

“The United States and China are the two biggest economies in the world. The more we can work things out, the better it’s going to be not just for US and China, but for the entire world economy,” he said.

On Tuesday morning, just as China's Vice Premier Liu He arrives with a Chinese delegation in Washington Tuesday through Saturday to continue trade negotiations, Trump tweeted that "Trade negotiations are continuing with China. They have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the U.S., for many years. Stay tuned!"


FireBrander PeeramidIdeologies Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:15 Permalink

If you want to cut the trade deficit...MAKE STUFF IN THE USA!

The USA CAN build the most deadly weapons the world has ever seen, at a cost of trillions upon trillions; but we can't build a toasters?

I applaud Trump for, finally, throwing some punches for the USA in the trade arena, but there's another side to that coin...bring back manufacturing!

1. Mirror Tariffs
2. Consumption Tax to replace all other taxes.
3. Get businesses OUT OF the providing health insurance to employees swamp!

4. Whatever it takes to encourage entrepreneurs to make stuff in the USA, DO IT!



In reply to by PeeramidIdeologies

fx Four Star Tue, 05/15/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

The trumptard's ambassadors seem to be as big mouthed and arrogant as the orange clown himself. The freshly appointed ambassador to germany demanded right upon landing in Berlin, that german companies shut down their Iranian businesses asap.


This idiot ambassador in China is even more arrogant and even dumber. haven't they heard that saving face is more important in China and Japan than virtually anywhere else? the louder you demand things and push the Chinese, the more unlikely it is to get anything from them. the wish list of the trumptard is silly and unrealistic beyond belief! he basically demands that China gives up her sovereignity and hands over their ministry of planning and they keys to the PBoC and to the ministry of trade and commerce to the US! To get - in return - NOTHING! (well, the trumptard will be so kind and NOT enact the envisaged sanctions in that case - what a sweet deal for the chinese!)

China will sit this out and is way better prepared for a trade war than is the US. Make no mistake Trump's bullying may have worked to some extent a decade or two ago, but not today, anymore.

Of course Trump doesn't want a quick end to the trade disputes anyway. he wants to keep the story alive right into the midterm elections . Even if he could score a few minor points now, that would be forgotten by autumn. So he isn't actually interested in that right now. The Chinese, of course know this all too well. Time is on their side. In the meantime, they do even more business with IRan, now that the Europeans vassalls are forced out of the Iran by Trump.

A true genius, the orange clown, but what do you expect if he makes a retard warhawk like Bolton his chief national security adviser? Trump is now in his own echo chamber stuffed with other complete retards, including (but not limited to): Bolton, Kushner, Pompeo, Hailey, the C!As torture bitch, Giuliani,...)

In reply to by Four Star

Pandelis Rex Andrus Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

both totally, completely irrelevant americans trying to make it in this world ... paper pushers. 

sure it goes without saying they are sucking up to their masters (the kushners of this world) ... they think in their little mind they have figured out how this world works ... what they are missing (like so many others) is that there is a next one where (((they))) would be held accountable.

choices ... it is all about choices. not as simple as it might look.

In reply to by Rex Andrus

InnVestuhrr FireBrander Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:49 Permalink

"but we can't build a toasters"

USA can build toasters, BUT the USA toasters will cost a lot more than the Chinese toasters,


the same proletariat rodents who complain about their jobs being shipped to China by the greedy business oligarchs, will be the ones who choose to buy the less expensive Chinese toasters instead of the more expensive USA toasters - as long as such buying preferences don't put them out of their proletariat job, they don't care if it puts some other proletariat rodents out of their proletariat jobs.

The proletariat rodents are the ones who made ChinaMart the dominant retailer.


In reply to by FireBrander

DemandSider InnVestuhrr Fri, 05/18/2018 - 04:45 Permalink

You fail to realize WHY middle class manufacturing is moving to The PRC. It is NOT due to cheap labor, primarily; cheap labor is all over the world. It's because The CCP state owned sector is a non profit producer, making it impossible to compete with. No other country in history is as economically nationalist as The PRC, while the U.S. is mired in cancerous neoliberalism and the identity division it brings.…


In reply to by InnVestuhrr

cbaba FireBrander Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

There is no chance we can make the toaster at an affordable price, we can make the best toaster in the world, that's not an issue, problem here is the economics ( equipment, material, labor, power, unions, but mainly labor), the product has to be affordable so that people can buy. the price of toaster will be $100 while the import ones are around $10-$50.

We can stop importing from China but still European ones will be much cheaper than ours.

As for the weapons, there is always a buyer, US Army buys whatever the cost is so we taxpayers pay the bill, Arms manufacturers can charge any price tag on it and we will still buy it. 

In reply to by FireBrander

fx cbaba Tue, 05/15/2018 - 13:21 Permalink

Oh, yell, yell, the evil unions and all the evil workers demanding to be paid  for their work. they bankrupt the US, weep, cryout loud.

Hey genius, if you don't pay people for their work so that they can live from what they bring home in wages, they will not be able to buy your toaster, no matter how it is priced!

How is it, that the Germans have among the highest labour costs of all nations and yet export record amounts of stuff everywhere  even to China!? By the logic of US corporate managers and the union haters Germany should never be able to do that! And no, had nothing to do with currency manipulation as the deutschmark kept appreciating for decades. Still, didn't make a dent long term to german exports.


Of course, as long as the 1 % reap all the gains and the rest gets ever poorer, relatively, the only thing keeping the US economy going is ever more credit creation ever more govt debt and all that.

Robots and low paid wage slaves do not buy cars (or whatever stuff), only properly paid people do.

In reply to by cbaba

Endgame Napoleon Fishthatlived Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:01 Permalink

What does bringing China’s financial services here entail? Does it mean bringing more business to the credit-processing companies, employing an army of moms, making $10 per hour? The moms are working when not indulging in libertine amounts of excused absenteeism, Halloween dress-up days and Family Day picnics.

The vast majority of these financial services jobs are not good-paying, full-time jobs that enable Americans with no unearned income from spouses or welfare to rent an apartment that soaks up well over half their monthly, earned-only income. 

The major household bills of most of their employees are not covered by wages, but by spousal income, child support or monthly welfare and refundable child tax credits. They check up on the customers’ solvency from work and from home, using software programs that can see right into the the customers’ bank accounts, right down to the last transaction.

Actually, their customers are not even the people they surveil. Their customers are loan processors. To participate in this system, Chinese citizens would need to have all of their personal information connected up to the labyrinthian risk-monitoring apparatus that oversees American citizens. 

It is more [and] less extensive in the back offices of the insurance industry, where mostly unlicensed and frequently absentee mom gangs work, making between $9 and $11 per hour. The mom gangs use software that tracks insureds from many different angles.

Much of the information spat out by the software comes from government, albeit it also comes from commercial sources. The companies are likewise all hooked into the same system, which does not just track insureds.

It likewise tracks the multi-licensed agents, working on straight commission with no benefits, to make sure they have no chargebacks from policy cancellations after they received say $250 in commission from a hard-won sale after it got through underwriting.

That is all that is left over after all of the strangers in the pyramid—10 or more—take a cut. There is a whole separate tracking system for that to make sure that insurance companies do not pay their non-salaried 1099 employees one extra dime. 

But the insureds are scrutinized to the max, too, through underwriting to determine how much the policies will be uprated. Some are cancelled by this means. Some of the most unprofessional and absentee bully mommas I have ever met work in this side of insurance. 

Are they going to incorporate the entire Chinese society into this digital underwriting framework to prop up mostly low-wage jobs at $9 — $11 per hour for unlicensed mom gangs to dominate between their frequent and excused absenteeism, their viscous bullying and their baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contests? 

Beyond the difficulty in handling the caseload between stints of back-watching  absenteeism for moms—and even though most of the work is automated—the software pulls this information from all kinds of sources related to the US system of government, which is very different from the Chinese system.

Unless the American government is going to intricately entwine its risk-management operations with the autocratic, communist-mercantilist government in China, it seems like it would not be possible to absorb their entire country into the back-end insurance apparatus.

But maybe not, because as far as selling policies there is concerned, Big Insurance has already done it, not that it helped the wider American economy much. A few executives, no doubt, made mega bucks on the global sales. They sold so many policies over there that it was a big component in the 2008 housing collapse—one of the things making it necessary to bail out AIG (full faith & credit).

Those Asian life insurance policies do not cancel as frequently—not even close to as frequently—as the policies of “responsible” American working mommies. You know—“working families”—like the many unlicensed moms in financial services, getting their rent, groceries and electricity bills paid by government, in addition to monthly cash assistance and up to $6,431 in refundable child tax credits.

Or, they have spousal income or child support covering rent, making it easy for them to accept rock-bottom pay or to work part time so that they stay under the income limits for monthly welfare and the cut off for refundable child tax credits. Sure don’t see premiums going down due to the labor cost savings from hiring a welfare-supported or spousal-supported workforce of near-100%, unlicensed, childbearing-age moms, with one or two licensed “signers” in huge call centers handling sales-related activities. 

We are constantly told that all of this womb privilege for working moms is allocated for their babies, and yet, most of those working moms do not prioritize their babies when it comes to paying the often  cheap-cubed life insurance premiums for young mommas.

Ditto for other types of insurance in many cases; the office jobs that moms dominate do not require proof. Whereas, the jobs that non-welfare-eligible men work often do require proof of auto insurance, meaning they must absorb that expense. All of us do, really, as premiums are higher overall when some people skip out on the monthly expense. 

The mostly married Asians do pay their life insurance premiums more regularly, like some Americans, and since insurance companies are legally required to honor those policies, the government had to bail out the too-big-to-fail, global insurance player in 2008.

This may happen on a larger scale in the future, with Americans on the hook for the bumbling of Asian companies or consumers, if the USA becomes more and more financially entangled with countries halfway around the globe—countries, which, except for the surveillance, have very different systems of government than the USA. 

In reply to by Fishthatlived

rwe2late Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:05 Permalink

Are the Chinese really that stupid?


The US government wants a Chinese "Yeltsin"

to "open up" and subordinate China to "Western interests".

Let it Go Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:07 Permalink

While American's moan about the large trade deficit with China if you follow the money and the United States huge trade deficit with Mexico it becomes even more disturbing as you begin to understand where that money eventually ends up.

When you start thinking about all the money and jobs we shift into Mexico each year you would think by now Mexico would be rolling in cash. A bit of research quickly confirms that the money Mexico receives by way of trading with America quickly passes through its lands and flows to Asia.

It could be argued that when all is said and done we are still transferring our wealth to the far east only by the scenic route. More on the problem with this in the article below.

 http://Follow The Money-The US Trade Deficit With Mexico Benefits China.html

DemandSider Let it Go Fri, 05/18/2018 - 05:29 Permalink

Bookmarked. I figured as much, but I wasn't sure how Mexican trade raised The North American trade deficit with The PRC. Thanks to your link, I now know how. Of course The TPP was also supposed to diminish our dependency on communist China, by moving some manufacturing to countries like communist Vietnam and Laos, whose top investor is, shockingly, The PRC. Except Vietnamese and Laotians make even less than PRC workers, so Wall Street profits would rise. I suspect communist N. Korea is being offered more outsourced manufacturing, which would be the Holy Grail for Wall Street sociopaths.

In reply to by Let it Go

You Only Live Twice Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:16 Permalink

I have mentioned this before, but the never written about biggest request by the US is that China change regulations so that banks can be 51% Foreign-owned rather than Chinese-owned. The Chinese have said no and so far have shown little interest in doing so.

lucitanian Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:19 Permalink

" a list of demands "

That's the trouble with US it can only "demand" and threaten. That's not negotiation, it's blackmail. The only thing the US has is a market, and that is about to fade as the petrodollar looses relevance and debt consumes the economy.

As anyone who has done business will know, it is long term mutually beneficial proposals that make contracts that stick. Short term power plays amounting to blackmail, lacking mutual respect or understanding just invite treachery.

Why should anyone trust any negotiation with the US government?

Alexander De Large Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:27 Permalink

Also hilarious how we're crying about negotiations with the Chinese when the whole world just watched us reneg on the Aryans and let the Jews bomb them.

America is so Judaic now that I wouldn't be surprised to see people eating bagels and guzzling Manischewitz at rodeos and Nascar races.

Chief Joesph Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

Of course, China has been making hundreds of billions of dollars from us, Donald Trump!  America has a consumer economy and China has a manufacturing economy.  And you think by sanctioning China, the U.S. has the industrial capacity in place to take up the slack?  You are sadly mistaken.  So, when are you going to make good on your promise to make America great again, and build that manufacturing economy?  And when are you going to get those 95 million, who make up 37% of the employable work force back at producing something again?   So much B.S. and not enough action.

Herdee Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

I always get a kick out of Americans going around the world with their lists of demands. Wake up, it's no longer a unipolar world. It's falling apart for American hegemony backed by warmongering banks.

ZeroBeek Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Trump: "China. They have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the U.S., for many years"


No sir, U.S. multinational corporations have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from China, for many years, because of their cheap labor and high working disciplin.

And shareholders (high profits) and US consumers (low prices) profited.

ZeroBeek Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:41 Permalink

Trump: "They have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the U.S., for many years."

Please stop whining. Don't behave like a snowflake.

Brazen Heist Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:45 Permalink

The US cannot accept that returning to a much more sustainable path will inevitably involve giving up a big portion of empire........imperial ambitions and the urge to dominate others like a psycho.

For one, it will save trillions of dollars and millions of lives.