China “Puts Europe Trade Deal on Back Burner” to Put Out US Tariff Fire



Wendy Wu | South China Morning Post

The China-US trade war turmoil is holding back progress on Beijing’s economic talks in Europe, according to a source briefed on the negotiations.

At their annual summit last month, Beijing and Brussels agreed to achieve “decisive” progress in a bilateral investment agreement this year, paving the way for a high-level deal in 2020.

But the protracted trade talks with the United States had diverted Chinese attention from the agreement with Europe and discussions on overhauling the World Trade Organisation, the source said.

China and the United States appeared close to ending their year-long trade war until US President Donald Trump tweeted on the weekend that he would raise tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese products to 25 per cent from 10 per cent from Friday.

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