FAST FIVE: Washington Backtracks On Enforcement Progress, Caves On Demands Beijing Scrap Industrial Subsidies
According to Reuters, US negotiators have 'tempered' their demands that Beijing roll back some of its industrial state subsidies as part of the trade deal.
Beijing grants subsidies and tax breaks to state-owned firms and to sectors seen as strategic for long-term development.
In what sounded like an attempt to spin Washington's walk-backs on subsidies and enforcement, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin – one of the officials tasked with leading the trade delegation – said during a Monday morning interview that there was “more work to do” including on the issue of enforcement, after saying last week that the two sides had agreed to opening 'enforcement offices'.
“The purchasing, for example, reinforces the role of the state sector because the purchasing is all being done through state enterprises,” one of the sources said.
In a separate report, Bloomberg said that China is weighing a request from Washington to shift some tariffs on key agricultural goods to other products to help the administration sell the trade deal to farmers, a key voting bloc for Trump, ahead of the 2020 election.