Negotiations continue with China over tariffs

As of press time, trade talks between the U.S. and China are continuing with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer saying he hopes the two parties are in the final weeks of negotiations. According to media reports, Beijing is holding firm on its demand that that U.S. remove Section 301 tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports. The U.S. believes it must have the ability to implement tariffs in situations where any agreement is violated. According to Lighthizer, negotiations are addressing China’s currency manipulation, technology transfer and respect of intellectual property rights. On March 12, Lighthizer told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, “I can’t predict success at this point, but we’re working hard and have made real progress.”

Recent congressional budget legislation required the USTR to develop an exclusion process for List 3 of the Section 301 tariffs. The USTR has yet to announce plans to do so.