An ambitious “phase two” trade deal between the United States and China is looking less likely as the two countries struggle to strike a preliminary “phase one” agreement, according to US and Beijing officials, lawmakers and trade experts, reported Reuters.
In October, US President Donald Trump said during a press conference with Chinese vice premier Liu He that he expected to quickly dive into a second phase of talks once “phase one” had been completed. The second phase would focus on a key US complaint that China effectively steals US intellectual property by forcing US companies to transfer their technology to Chinese rivals, he said at the time.
But the November 2020 US presidential election, the difficulties in getting the first-stage done, combined with the White House’s reluctance to work with other countries to pressure Beijing are dimming hopes for anything more ambitious in the near future, said Reuters sources.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the signing of a phase one deal could slide into next year as the two countries tussle over Beijing’s demand for more extensive tariff rollbacks.