Beijing’s top priority in any phase one trade deal with the United States is the removal of existing tariffs on Chinese goods, Chinese newspaper reported on Sunday, amid uncertainty on whether the two sides can end a 17-month trade war that has depressed global growth. Officials with the US Trade Representative’s office and the US Treasury Department did not reply to a request for comment. The United States is poised to impose an additional 15% tariff on about $156 billion of Chinese products on 15th December. It is widely expected that those tariffs will be averted if a deal is struck, but China is pressing for rollbacks of previous tariffs.
Last Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said Washington was in the “final throes” of a deal aimed at defusing the trade war with China, a few days after Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire for a trade agreement. Top trade negotiators for both countries spoke again and agreed to keep working on the remaining issues. Trade experts and people close to the White House told news outlets last month, however, that signing a phase one agreement may not take place until the new year as China pressed for more extensive rollbacks of tariffs. An agreement was initially expected to be completed by the end of November.
PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party saw its lead over Labour narrow to 9 percentage points in the last week, but remains the front runner ahead of a national election on 12th December, according to a recent poll. The poll indicated that the Conservatives were supported by 42% of voters, up 1 point, while Labour rose 3 points to 33%. The pro-EU Liberal Democrats were down 4 points to 11% and the Brexit Party fell 2 points to 3%, according to the telephone poll conducted between 26th-30th November.
14.00 – EUR: Christine Lagarde testifies before European Parliament
15.00 – USD: ISM Manufacturing PMI; Forecast at 49.2 against previous of 48.3