The latest comments around the ongoing US-China trade negotiations continue to suggest that the recently agreed-upon “phase one” trade deal will be signed.
President Trump told reporters this week:
“The deal with China’s coming along very well. They want to make a deal. They sort of have to make a deal… because their supply chain is going down the tubes”.
Deal on the Table
The deal in question is the outcome of the 13th round of trade talks held in Washington on October 10th.
After the 2-day meeting, Trump announced that the agreement broadly comprises of China ramping up its purchase of US agricultural products. This would be in exchange for the US canceling the next round of tariffs which were due to go live last week.
The US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, told reporters that the US is currently aiming for the deal to be signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting happening in Chile, November 16th-17th.
The deal is a sort of interim trade deal. It is designed to act as the foundation for a further agreement to come in the near future.
US Warns China Against Further Delays
However, there is still some uncertainty around negotiations.
Shortly after verbally agreeing to the deal, China aired its reluctance to sign it.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has warned China that if they do not sign a deal by December 15th, the US will go ahead with the next round of tariffs on $156 billion of Chinese goods.
Following the latest face-to-face talks in Washington, deputies from both countries spoke on the phone at the start of this week. The aim was to keep negotiations moving forward.
In terms of next steps, Mnuchin and trade representatives are due to talk with their Chinese counterparts at the end of the week.
China GDP Hits 26 Year Lows
For now, the situation continues to look encouraging. The market is expecting that the ongoing talks will result in a deal next month.
The lastest China growth data has once again highlighted the need for a resolution to the situation. GDP hit 26-year lows last quarter as a result of the trade war.
IMF Slashes Global Growth Forecast
In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF warned that global growth will fall to 3% by the end of the year as a result of the ongoing damage from the US-China trade war.
The IMF also warned that if growth should deteriorate further there is the risk of a global recession which would be marked by a reading of 2.5%.
The warning from the IMF echoes the sentiments of central banks across the globe which have lamented the economic toll of the trade war on domestic economies as well as global activity.
The SPX500 is trading a little lower today, through remains near the top of the recent 2959.04 – 3020.23 range. Price has been stalled by the upper level of the range since July of this year.
However, expectations are for the Fed to ease further. And the signs are pointing towards a forthcoming US-China trade deal. So, focus remains on further upside and a move to fresh highs.