With continued pressure to boost imports from the U.S., on May 12, 2020, China announced a new list of 79 U.S. products eligible for waivers from retaliatory tariffs imposed during the trade war. The U.S. and China signed Phase 1 of the trade deal back in January, but implementation has been put on hold due to COVID-19. 

In a recent interview on RTHK’s Hong Kong Today radio show, Duff & Phelps Institute Fellow and Business Intelligence and Investigations Managing Director Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale discussed the latest trade negotiations. China agreed to purchase USD 200 billion of U.S. goods over two years. 

When asked about the waivers and Beijing’s promises in the trade agreement, Nicole commented, “Our clients with the Duff & Phelps Institute are very keen to see some movement here on the trade deal, to see that the obligations on each side are honored to create some certainty. And it is great that the Chinese are looking to remove the items…from the retaliatory tariffs list because those are very important inputs to manufacturing in the U.S.”

As part of the original trade deal, China agreed to purchase USD 200 billion of U.S. goods over two years, but that effort has been impacted by COVID-19. When asked about this element and the trade deal as a whole, Nicole said, “It is going to be difficult in this environment. I think that the parties should act in good faith and try to uphold their respective ends of the bargain, but this is an event that is unprecedented and its effect on the world economy. It’s a health crisis that I don’t think anyone saw coming and it’s going to be very difficult I think for goods to be produced that were contemplated on our side as well as China’s ability to purchase such goods.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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