China seeks tips from japan for handling top u.s. trade haggler buzzjour arkla gas phone number

A diplomatic source who has dealt with Lighthizer said Chinese officials and academics have reached out in recent months to foreign diplomats and former officials of American trading partners for wisdom on handling the US trade representative.

When Japan’s trade surplus with the US was sparking a confrontation between the two countries, the former international trade lawyer pressured Japan to reduce steel and auto exports to the US by restricting its shipments of electronic and agricultural products with punitive tariffs and quotas.

Japan’s economy went into a decade-long decline after an attempt to boost domestic consumption through the lowering of interest rates triggered a bubble economy built on inflated real estate and stock market prices that ultimately collapsed.

When Lighthizer was sworn in as US trade representative last year, the US and China were widely expected to move towards a more confrontational trade relationship, given the trade negotiator’s criticism of China’s economic model as an unprecedented threat to the world trading system.

An investigation subsequently launched by the trade representative’s office into China’s alleged intellectual property theft under Section 301 of the 1974 United States Trade Act authorized tariffs aimed at forcing changes to Chinese government policies over intellectual property.

Several hours after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US was “putting the trade war on hold” and would not assess tariffs on Beijing while the two sides talked, Lighthizer put out a statement saying that tariffs remained an important tool to “protect our technology”.

President Xi Jinping, who no longer has to worry about election cycles and term limits since being cleared to become a lifetime leader, told foreign dignitaries recently that his country would walk out of the trade war “in better shape than the US”, according to Britain’s envoy to China, Barbara Woodward.

Trump has temporarily exempted the EU until June 1 from additional duties of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports. But there is no guarantee the sides can reach an agreement that would extend the deadline further.

Officials from China’s commerce ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s economic planning agency, “suddenly became highly proactive in reaching out to the Japanese side before the visit, possibly having received the go-ahead from the top level,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

“About two to three weeks before Premier Li’s visit to Japan, the Chinese side came up with many last-minute proposals to push for breakthroughs on deals that have been under discussion for some time, such as a currency swap and granting RQFII quotas to Japanese investors,” the source said.

Although Trump is making aggressive trade moves clouding the global trade landscape, Lu said that other major economies, such as the EU and Japan, shared the US’ frustrations towards the increasingly difficult market environment in China, caused by limited market access and increasing regulation, as well as the requirements of forced technology transfer.

“If China reaches a bilateral trade deal with the US based on preferential treatment applied only to American companies, this could raise some concerns for countries like the EU and Japan,” the person said. “This could be against WTO rules and hurt the interests of other trading partners.”