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Trade talks will probably end with tariffs still in place

LESS THAN a week after the White House described trade talks in Beijing as “candid and constructive”, American and Chinese negotiators met again on April 3rd in Washington, DC. There is talk of a summit between the two countries’ presidents. But amid the upbeat noises are a few discordant notes. Without a deadline, the discussions could drag on, or even stall. Although the contours of a deal seem clear, the final items are always the trickiest. And even if a deal is struck, it may not be a good one.The two sides have already agreed on provisions relating to currency manipulation, and are hashing out how much more American goods the Chinese will commit to buying. Rules on technology transfer and American companies’ access to the Chinese market are still being discussed. Also on the table will be American demands that China relaxes its attitude to trade in data, which it sees as a threat to national security.
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