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U.S.-China Relations Continue to Deteriorate

Date: July 28, 2020

After the U.S. ordered a Chinese consulate in Houston to close, citing economic espionage and visa fraud, China retaliated Friday by ordering the U.S. to close its consulate in Chengdu. The moves come as President Trump indicated that no new negotiations on the China Phase Two trade deal would occur prior to the election. “The trade deal means less to me now than it did when I made it,” he said at a press conference.

While the While House is currently following the advice of USTR Robert Lighthizer and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to preserve the Phase One China deal, Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural and manufacturing goods as well as services remain well below planned levels.

MEMA has been advocating to end the Sec. 301 tariffs on imported goods from China as a way to lower business costs to help fight the economic disruptions of the COVID-19 in crisis. However, the political environment with China is now so fraught with conflict that both U.S. political parties view China as a major U.S. economic and security rival. Given this reality, MEMA encourages members to plan for tariffs on Chinese imports to remain in place through November and probably beyond.

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