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Editorial: Good News for Maritime Fraternity as US-China Trade War Likely To End Soon

Port Wings, 23 October 2019:

The latest news of China and the US making concrete progress in many areas of prolonged trade war is good news for the maritime fraternity.

According to latest reports quoting China’s chief negotiator and Vice Premier Liu He both the countries during the latest rounds of talks laid foundation for signing of a phased deal to resolve the bruising trade war.

On the other hand, US President Donald Trump, who had launched the trade war in 2018 demanding China to reduce massive trade deficit, said after the 13 round of trade talks this month that the two countries reached a very substantial phase one deal.

It may be noted that President Trump is also demanding an intrusive verification mechanism to supervise Beijing’s promise to protect intellectual property rights technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that China would work with the US on the basis of equality and mutual respect to address each other’s core concerns.

According to multiple media reports, the agreement would take three to five weeks to draw up, and work on a second phase would begin as soon as the first was signed. The deal might be ratified by President Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Ahead of the 13th round of talks China also confirmed it has stepped up purchase of American agricultural produce in large quantities in bid to address the trade deficit with US which last year climbed to USD 539 billion.

The announcement of stepping up purchase means movement of more cargo through ocean route and eventually it will help the maritime fraternity to heave a sigh of relief.

Trade data suggests that Chinese companies have purchased 20 million tons of soybeans, 700 thousand tons of pork, 700 thousand tons of sorghum, 230 thousand tons of wheat and 320 thousand tons of cotton from the US. With plans to buy more American agricultural goods, China has opened new opportunity for the ocean freight movement.

Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, while reacting on the progress of the US China trade talks, said that with the initial agreement the two countries were starting with super light issues to rebuild trust before moving to more profound conflicts.

So, the decisions and deals of both the nations through phased manner between the US and China would ultimately help the maritime fraternity and move away from the flash point that could have created mayhem in international trade.

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