US Firms Feel Squeeze of Trump's China Policy

Ann Santiago
June 19, 2019

The administration is making progress resolving House Democrats' objections to a proposed North American trade deal in talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Robert E. Lighthizer, the president's chief trade negotiator, told lawmakers on Tuesday.

"We have an untenable situation with China one that should have been addressed, frankly, a couple of decades ago", Lighthizer told senators.

China's state-run TV said Xi was looking forward to the meeting.

The speaker has established working groups of House Democrats to work on revisions to the agreement's labor, environment, pharmaceuticals and enforcement terms.

Details of the trade agreement are still unknown.

Other companies with USA manufacturing operations voiced opposition to the tariffs because they depend on Chinese components, such as light-emitting diode parts for lighting manufacturer Ledvance LLC and stitched leather parts for athletic shoe maker New Balance LLC.

Trump had made no secret that, despite his threat to escalate the dispute, he wanted to meet with Xi while they are both in Japan. "We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan", Trump said on Twitter.

The White House said the Chinese began to renege on previously negotiated details, which China denies.

The administration wants China to stop coercing US companies into trading their technology secrets for access to the Chinese market and to halt a widespread government-backed effort to steal USA trade secrets. During Trump's presidency the U.S. Treasury Department has repeatedly refrained from officially accusing China of manipulating the yuan.

Brent Cleaveland, executive director of the U.S. Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association, the first witness at Monday's hearing, said that the industries, which moved production to China in the 1980s in order to provide greater value to the domestic market, have relied heavily on Chinese imports, adding that the proposed tariffs would really threaten U.S. businesses and jobs. The US already has 25 percent duties on more than $250 billion of imports from China. The conflict is expected to be the prime topic during a Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G20.

The Massachusetts-based sneaker company, unlike most of its competitors, makes a lot of shoes in the United States. "I agree that the economic and trade teams of the two countries will maintain communication on how to resolve differences". "I fear that continuing to use tariffs in this way will undermine our credibility with our current and potential trading partners, and under the benefits of our historic tax reform".

Since March 2018, the United States has collected $22 billion in tariffs levied by Trump, Grassley said.

"In the run-up to the summit in Osaka, President Trump continues to exert pressure on China on trade and other issues, while President Xi is preparing the nation for an extended trade war". "I don't know", he said.

"Commitment from other countries aren't any good if there's no way of holding countries to them", said ranking member Sen.

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