Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US, China in tariffs truce after G20

US, China in tariffs truce after G20

US, China in tariffs truce after G20

The US and China on Saturday announced a ceasefire in their tariffs war, hours after US President Donald Trump upended another international forum by snubbing G20 action on trade disputes and climate change.

Over a dinner of steaks and Argentine wine in Buenos Aires, Trump and President Xi Jinping brokered a truce to ensure that – for now – there will be no further escalation to their tit-for-tat imposition of tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Trump withdrew his threat to raise the US tariffs even more on January 1, in return for a promise from China to buy more US goods and enter into a 90-day period of talks to resolve their differences.

Those include market access for US companies and protecting their intellectual property from theft by Chinese rivals.

Absent agreement in that time, tariffs now set at 10 per cent will be raised to 25 per cent, according to a White House statement.

“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the US and China,” Trump said in the statement, released as he flew home from a stormy trip spent accosting his fellow leaders at the world’s pre-eminent economic forum.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Buenos Aires: “It is conducive not only to the development of the two countries and the well-being of the Chinese and American people, but also to stable growth of the world economy.”

The US-China trade war sparked warnings at the G20 of the cost to the global economy if it continued unabated. Not long before the Trump-Xi dinner, the annual summit concluded in the Argentine capital with a watered-down statement.

The G20 communique was finally adopted after all-night haggling by negotiators ensured that the summit in crisis-hit Argentina at least finished with a joint platform, unlike recent G7 and Asia-Pacific summits where Trump’s objections caused unprecedented breakdowns.

Apart from the US, all other G20 members agreed to implement the “irreversible” Paris Agreement on climate change, ahead of a UN summit on the planetary threat starting next week in Poland, it said.

But it said the “US reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” mirroring the divergence seen last year when Trump shocked the global community by bucking the consensus at his first G20.

The statement also omitted pledges by the G20 to fight protectionism and uphold multilateral trading rules, which used to be a mainstay of the world’s leading economies pre-Trump.

Instead, it merely recognised the “contribution” of the “multilateral trading system,” and added that it was “falling short” in goals of growth and job creation.

“The US, which is the most open economy in the world, does not accept being shackled,” the summit’s host, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, told a news conference.

The G20 agreed to reform the World Trade Organisation, which is accused by Trump of limiting US commercial freedoms to the advantage of China and other rivals.

But the conclusions were dismissed as “the lowest common denominator” by Thomas Bernes, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada who used to be a G20 negotiator for the Canadian government.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia