Companies say the trade agreement is a good first step, but they want tariffs to end

WASHINGTON – USA UU. Business leaders generally applauded the signing of a trade pact between the United States and China, but emphasized the need to continue negotiations with an agreement that could result in the lifting of tariffs on Chinese imports.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

director

David Solomon

He said the signing of the agreement has helped contribute “to a context of creating a support market in relation to a year ago.” A lawyer of

Intel Corp.,

the largest chip maker in the US UU. He said he hoped the agreement would lead to greater commercial cooperation between the US. UU. and China

Boeing Co.

Executive President David Calhoun said the leaders who joined are “building a fair and mutually beneficial business relationship.”

Joe Hinrichs,

Ford Motor Co.

The automotive president said the Detroit automaker is “encouraged by the efforts of both governments to solve the remaining problems through ongoing negotiations.”

Commercial groups representing companies in Washington, D.C., joined the choir. “We commend both governments for staying on course and taking this important step to rebuild trust and restore some stability in the world’s most important business relationship,” said the chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce. UU.

Thomas J. Donohue.

“This agreement provides the necessary certainty for American companies as they begin the new year.”

President

Trump’s

Tariffs remain at approximately $ 370 billion of items manufactured in China, although it recently agreed to reduce the tariff rate by half, to 7.5% from 15%, for some product categories. At Wednesday’s signing, he promised to eliminate tariffs if the United States and China can reach an agreement on broader economic policy changes in the next round of negotiations.

“The work is not done yet,” he said.

Craig Allen,

President of the Commercial Council of the United States and China. “The implementation of the agreement will be of critical importance. In addition, the phase one agreement must be followed quickly by the ongoing phase two negotiations on the remaining issues. “

The United States and China signed an agreement that marks a truce in the trade war between the two nations, and President Trump said it was a “momentous step” towards a future of “fair and reciprocal trade.” Photo: Wang Ying / Xinhua / Zuma Press

Cinnamon Rogers,

The executive vice president of defense of the Information Technology Industry Association said the agreement “points to a turning point for the US technology sector.” It includes stronger protections and punishments for stealing American technology, while making it easier for US companies to convince authorities to initiate a criminal investigation in China when violations occur. She, like many others, urged the administration to continue driving robust compliance with China’s commitments and towards a second agreement that sets terms for broader reforms.

“Everything sounds great in theory,” said Dan Harris, a Seattle lawyer whose firm advises companies of all sizes to operate in China. “The problem is that China has a long history of enacting very attractive laws, especially its intellectual property laws, and then not complying when it does not want to.”

While electronics companies will benefit from lighter tariffs, the Trump administration has shown no sign of easing restrictions on chip sales to some of China’s largest companies, which has affected company revenues. chip.

An index of the main semiconductor stocks fell more than 1% at the close of the market on Wednesday, despite a wider rebound in the market after the deal.

“While the problem of short-term rates is eliminated and a dark cloud is cleared, the approach now changes to the details and the roadmap for a Phase Two agreement and the details on IP protection and other problems of forced technology transfer that make this a murky situation, “Wedbush Securities analyst

Dan ves

He said in a note sent by email.

Business Roundtable officials said they would closely monitor the implementation of the agreement and help with negotiations “to address new unfair trade and investment practices.”

Business leaders have expressed their opposition to tariffs since President Trump threatened to impose them in early 2018 and through several waves of tariff increases that followed. Tariffs have particularly affected the retail sector, and industry officials moderatedly praised Wednesday’s signature.

“The trade war will not end until all these tariffs have disappeared,” said the president of the National Federation of Retailers

Matthew Shay

who attended the firm.

A

Walmart

The spokesman for Inc. said the retailer is satisfied with the firm, but expects the agreement “to lead to a comprehensive agreement that allows the elimination of all rates.”

The American Apparel & Footwear Association was one of the few groups that filed complaints about the details of the agreement. President and CEO Steve Lamar said the US plan. UU. Using tariffs as an application mechanism in the future could harm consumers even more.

“We do not consider taxing US citizens an effective way to change policies and practices in China,” Lamar said.

US President of Footwear Distributors and retailers, Matt Priest, said the agreement “will provide a little more certainty … which is key to job growth and retail price stability for shoe consumers. “. Children’s shoes, he added.

“Tariffs increase costs for consumers, and shoe tariffs hurt working families more,” Priest said. “That is why we have said that shoe tariffs should not be used as a weapon in this ongoing trade war.”

The Outdoor Industry Association, which represents more than 1,300 manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the recreational sector, estimated that its companies paid $ 7.7 billion in China product tariffs from January to November last year, compared to $ 5.2 billion during the same period in 2018 The vice president of government affairs of the association,

Patricia Rojas-Ungar,

He applauded the agreement, but said his organization would continue to press for the elimination of tariffs.

Ethanol producers were among the few groups that were unequivocally happy about the agreement. The agricultural community has been largely excluded from the Chinese market during the trade war and is one of the biggest winners of the agreement due to the guarantees of billions of dollars in the increase of agricultural and food exports to China.

“Ethanol producers in the United States have experienced significant economic losses due to punitive Chinese tariffs on our products, and we are eager to return to a more open trade relationship with China,” he said.

Geoff Cooper,

leader of the Association of Renewable Fuels, an ethanol advocacy group.

Alcoa Corp.

director

Roy Harvey

He said more negotiations could help the company while seeking stronger growth. “That gives us the catalyst to make improvements happen faster,” he told analysts in a call about fourth-quarter results.

Business leaders said they expect the tension between the two economic giants to remain a financial burden for their operations in the near future.

“We are making our commercial projections under the assumption that protectionism to some degree is here to stay,” said Ricaurte Vásquez, administrator of the Panama Canal. “We prefer more open markets, more open trade.

Write to Katy Stech Ferek at [email protected] and Timothy Puko at [email protected]

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