US officials are pushing China to allow regular reviews to ensure Beijing fully implements any promised reforms agreed as part of a possible trade deal with Washington, multiple sources told Reuters.
The US is wary that China would agree to structural reforms that it would then soft-pedal, and therefore Washington appears happy to leave the threat of tariffs hanging even in the event of the two sides agreeing a deal to end the trade war.
“The threat of tariffs is not going away, even if there is a deal,” said one source briefed on the negotiations.
China is not keen on any kind of external review, though the source said that the suggestion “didn’t derail negotiations.”
According to one Chinese source, the suggestion of “periodic assessments” was made but would be politically problematic for Beijing.
“It looks like humiliation,” the source said. “But perhaps the two sides could find a way to save face for the Chinese government.”