- Gloves Come Off: China “Insists” Existing Tariffs Must Be Scrapped For “Phase 1” Trade Deal
by Tyler Durden, https://www.zerohedge.com/
Until now, China had largely kept the key hurdles in the ongoing US-China trade talks close to the vest, fearful that “breaking the embargo” so to speak on what have been confidential talks so far, could anger the US side. Now in a surprise diplomatic reversal, one which has the intent of signaling to the world that China will no longer play by Washington’s unspoken if assumed rules, overnight China’s nationalistic Global Times tabloid reported that Beijing now “insists” that existing tariffs must be removed as part of a “Phase 1” trade deal, well beyond the US “ask” of merely scrapping those tariffs which are set to kick in on December 15.
“Sources with direct knowledge of the trade talks told the Global Times on Saturday that the U.S. must remove existing tariffs, not planned tariffs, as part of the deal,” said the report.
Global Times, which is published by the official People’s Daily newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, also cited another unidentified source close to the talks as saying U.S. officials had been resisting such a demand because the tariffs were their only weapon in the trade war and giving up that weapon meant “surrender.”
Which is precisely what we said last night, when we noted that by going public with its demands, it would make Trump look even weaker, as the US president can no longer spin the outcome of negotiations as one where he proposed the removal of existing tariffs, but rather such an act would be seen as caving to China.