China appeals to Washington for quick end to trade war

A worker loads imported goods on a truck at a distribution company outside the container port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. (Chinatopix via AP)
Updated 17 October 2019

China appeals to Washington for quick end to trade war

  • Beijing says it will buy more American goods but has yet to confirm the details
  • Tariff hikes by both sides on billions of dollars of imports have battered factories and farmers

BEIJING: China appealed to Washington for a quick end to their trade war but gave no indication Thursday what additional steps Beijing might want before carrying out what President Donald Trump says is a promise to buy up to $50 billion of American farm goods.
Trump agreed Friday to delay a tariff hike in exchange for Chinese purchases of US exports. Beijing says it will buy more American goods but has yet to confirm the details, leaving companies wondering whether Chinese leaders have other demands including a possible end to punitive US tariffs before that goes ahead.
Negotiators are “striving to reach a consensus on the text of the agreement as soon as possible,” said a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng. “I can’t disclose the specific details.”
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday that officials were still ironing out details of a preliminary agreement.
Companies welcomed the deal as a small but promising possible step toward breaking a deadlock in the 15-month-old fight over China’s trade surplus and technology ambitions.
Tariff hikes by both sides on billions of dollars of imports have battered factories and farmers, weighing on global economic growth. Trump delayed a tariff due to take effect Tuesday on $250 billion of Chinese goods but another increase on $160 billion of imports still is scheduled for Dec. 15.
Economists warned the truce fails to address more basic complaints about Beijing’s plans for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics and other technologies.
Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say those violate Chinese market-opening commitments and are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over know-how.
China wants “economic and trade relations back on the right track at an early date,” Gao said at a weekly news briefing.
Achieving results will “restore market confidence and also is highly significant for stabilizing the global economic situation,” he said.
On Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokesman said China would “further speed up procurement” of American farm exports but gave no scale or time frame.
China has bought 20 million tons of US soybeans and 700,000 tons of pork this year, according to the spokesman, Geng Shuang. China imported about 33 million tons of American soybeans annually before the tariff fight and collapsed to 16.6 million tons last year.


Boeing: Timing of 737 MAX return in hands of regulators

Updated 16 November 2019

Boeing: Timing of 737 MAX return in hands of regulators

  • Boeing earlier said it expected the US Federal Aviation Administration to certify the 737 MAX in mid-December

DUBAI: Boeing said on Saturday the US Federal Aviation Administration and other global regulators would decide the timing of the return to service of its 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March in the wake of two fatal crashes.
The head of the FAA has told his team to “take whatever time is needed” in its review of the MAX, according to a Nov. 14 memo seen by Reuters, issued days after Boeing said it expected the FAA to certify the 737 MAX in mid-December.
“The FAA and regulators around the world control the schedule,” Stan Deal, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told a news conference on the eve of the Dubai Airshow.