Last Friday, Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States of America, said that President Donald Trump would “stand firm” on his demands for structural changes to the trade practices of China, and the removal of tariffs that were imposed by the United States on Chinese goods would be a part of a mechanism to enforce any deal with Beijing.
In an interview with CNBC television that was aired last Friday, Pence said that Trump “remains very hopeful” about reaching a trade deal with China in the negotiations that are set next week in Washington.
Liu He, the Chinese Vice Premier, is set to travel to Washington for discussions starting on Wednesday following a round of negotiations this week in Beijing that Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, called “productive.”
Industry representatives say that they believe that the talks are in the endgame, and Mnuchin has said that he hopes that by the end of next week, the U.S. team is in a position to recommend a deal to President Trump or tell him that one could not be reached.
When asked whether a deal would leave some of the tariffs that were imposed by the United States on $250 billion (£192.4 billion) worth of Chinese goods in place, Pence answered: “The president’s two favourite words are ‘We’ll see.'”
He added: “The president believes we’re in a very strong position, we could put more tariffs on if we’re not able to reach an agreement. The manner in which tariffs would come off is going to be a part of the enforcement mechanism and all of that is the subject of negotiations as we talk,”
The Trump administration has been insisting on a mechanism to ensure that China follows through on any reform promises and commitments to purchase more goods from the United States. Administration officials have said that both sides are anticipated to launch new enforcement staffs to police the agreement.