Chinese State Media Reiterates ‘Core Concerns’ After Trade Call

(Bloomberg) --

Chinese state media reiterated the nation’s core demands in trade talks with the U.S., including the removal of all punitive tariffs, after top negotiators spoke on the phone last week.

“For China, removing all the additional tariffs is a core concern that has not changed and will never change; even if there is a first phase deal, this core concern should be reflected,” Taoran Notes, a blog affiliated with state-run Economic Daily, wrote Saturday. China’s insistence on a “realistic” value for U.S. purchases and a “balanced” text of the agreement remains, the post said, while the U.S.’s core concern is agricultural purchases.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer talked by phone Friday and both sides released statements describing the call as “constructive.” President Donald Trump on Sunday told reporters at the White House that a trade agreement, if one is completed, would be signed somewhere in the U.S.

If the two sides keep the good momentum and properly tackle the core concerns, they will be closer to the phase one deal, according to the Taoran blog. However, it warned that new hurdles could occur down the road, as addressing the core demands on both sides cannot be accomplished in one step.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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