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Interview: U.S. scholar calls for sincere, trustworthy negotiation to ease U.S.-China trade tensions

(Xinhua)    15:06, August 25, 2019

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The United States should uphold the consensus reached between Beijing and Washington at the Osaka Group of 20 (G20) summit, said a senior U.S. scholar, calling for sincere and trustworthy conversations between the two sides.

The U.S. government announced on Aug. 15 that it will impose additional tariffs of 10 percent on Chinese goods worth about 300 billion U.S. dollars, effective on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively, in two batches.

In response, Beijing announced its decision on Friday to impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports worth about 75 billion dollars. Washington then vowed to retaliate with further tariffs later in the day.

"Washington must at minimum reverse the steps that it has taken over the past month and go back to upholding the (two) heads of states consensus reached at the Osaka G20," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Institute for China-America Studies, told Xinhua on Friday.

He noted that the consensus could create "the essential basis for forming trust between the two sides." If the two sides reset negotiations based on the consensus, they could "aspire to strike a more broad-based deal related to their structural trade impediments by December 2019."

However, that must be based on sincerity and trust, the senior China watcher said. "Washington must match word with deed. Without sincerity and trust, no negotiations can be expected to succeed."

China is forced to act by imposing additional tariffs, in the face of U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionist moves, the Customs Tariff Commission of China's State Council said in a statement on Friday.

Gupta also voiced concerns that the escalating U.S.-China trade frictions would have a more lasting impact on investor sentiment within the U.S. macro economy, as the financial markets have been jittery over the past year due to uncertainties arising from the trade war.

"The uncertainty and tit-for-tat retaliation will do nothing to reverse such downbeat sentiment. The trade war will in fact exacerbate these economic headwinds, especially as President (Donald) Trump heads into his re-election campaign," the scholar said.

Yet Gupta expressed confidence in the Chinese economy, saying that it will be able to navigate through these multiple shocks, although with some difficulties.

"China's overall current account is almost in balance, meaning that net exports is a very tiny driver of growth. China's macro-economy is fundamentally domestically driven," he said.

Despite external blows, the Chinese government has been able to employ economic stabilizers and maintain the GDP growth within the range of 6-6.5 percent, he added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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