U.S., China Face Thorny Obstacles to Lasting Trade Peace

时间:2018-12-05 单词数:3510

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The trade truce between the U.S. and China calms their economic battle and opens a brief window for the two nations to explore whether they can bridge deep divides on a range of difficult disputes.


After a weekend dinner between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit here, the U.S. postponed its threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. But it set a timeline of only about three months for the two sides to negotiate several issues that have proved largely intractable in the past.

在布宜诺斯艾利斯出席二十国集团(Group of 20)峰会期间,美国总统特朗普(Donald Trump)和中国国家主席习近平周末举行了工作晚宴,之后,美国宣布推迟将针对2,000亿美元中国商品的关税从10%上调至25%的计划。但美国为双方磋商几个问题设定了约三个月的期限,而过去的谈判证明,这些问题非常棘手。

Issues still on the table include forced technology transfer by U.S. companies doing business in China; intellectual-property protection that the U.S. wants China to strengthen; nontariff barriers that impede U.S. access to Chinese markets; and cyberespionage.


In a sign of the difficulty of the talks ahead, Chinese officials haven’t acknowledged they accept the U.S. negotiating agenda or any deadline for talks. Nor is it clear what accommodation on any or all of the issues would prove sufficient to hold off the U.S. from raising tariffs when its deadline expires.


There are also irritants in the relationship—such as China’s claims to, and construction on islands in, the South China Sea—which are high priorities for the Pentagon and U.S. national-security officials but which aren’t on the U.S. negotiating agenda and show little prospect of near-term resolution even if a trade deal is reached.

中美关系中还有其他棘手问题,例如中国宣称对南中国海(South China Sea, 中国称南海)拥有主权并在该海域进行岛屿建设的问题。这些问题受到美国国防部和国家安全官员的高度重视,但并不在美国的谈判议程上。即使中美能够达成贸易协议,上述问题短期内得到解决的可能性也不大。

U.S. officials said that both countries sought a cease-fire because of concerns that tariff hikes would hurt their economies and markets. Their economies are bound to play an outsize role in what the negotiations resolve, as well—and prompt fierce lobbying from companies and business organizations with sales at stake.


“If the economy slows down, it’s very unlikely U.S. will ever ratchet up tariffs,” said David Dollar, a Brookings Institution China scholar who was the Treasury Department’s representative in Beijing in the Obama administration. “But if the U.S. economy is roaring and the negotiations are especially frustrating, 90 days from now we could be headed into a serious trade war.”

布鲁金斯学会(Brookings Institution)中国问题学者杜大伟(David Dollar)称,如果经济放缓,美国就不太可能会提高关税。杜大伟曾担任奥巴马政府时期美国财政部驻北京代表。他称,如果美国经济强劲增长,而谈判特别令人沮丧,90天后中美可能陷入一场严重的贸易战。