Trade Update

Last month we provided an update on the trade negotiations between the United States and China, and while, at the time, great strides had been achieved, the negotiators had yet to reach the finish line.  Now, fast forward one month, and the finish line may be insight, as one of the primary obstacles may have evaporated.

Last week, trade representatives from China introduced a few proposals on a range of issues, including forced technology transfer, which currently requires US companies to transfer their technology to Chinese manufacturers.  This issue, along with cyber theft, intellectual property rights, currency manipulation, agriculture, and non-tariff barriers to trade have been the primary concerns for the United States.  On March 28th U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew to China for the eight-round of negotiations.  While the specifics of these negotiations have yet to be revealed, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin classified these talks as “constructive,” and multiple media sources have used terms, such as “good momentum,” and “prospect looks good for a mutually beneficial agreement.”  All that we know is that China has made progressive moves toward reform, which has certainly improved the likelihood that a deal will be reached.

Later this week, President Xi Jinping’s top trade envoy, Liu He, will head to Washington to continue trade talks with US Trade Representatives, both with a focus on a final agreement.  So stay tuned, and feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions.