China Open to Further Trade Talks with US Negotiators | CN Strike Continues

China Open to Further Trade Talks with US Negotiators

China’s chief trade negotiator, Liu He, wishes to continue trade talks with US counterparts prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, and has called upon his American counterparts to partake in face to face discussions. Currently the U.S. counterparts have yet to commit to a date for the visit citing a lack of Chinese commitments to other business matters focused on intellectual-property protection, forced technology transfers and agricultural purchases. This according to the Wall Street Journal.

The source also states officials on both sides have traveled to each other’s capitals in hopes of coming to an agreement. Efforts were stalled when China made substantial changes to the draft, requiring both sides to works towards an agreement based on revised terms, including concessions made by China in return for removal of some tariffs. Trade negotiations between the two economic powerhouses have been ongoing, as both sides have seen ebbs and flows to their progress. To continue progressing, a truce was called at the White House in October, resulting in the agreement to proceed in stages of negotiations moving forward.

Chinese negotiators continue to push the U.S. to lighten the tariffs on existing and upcoming levies, but have also been reluctant to proceed with U.S. business requests specifically tied to agricultural purchases as well as IP protection, and lessening pressure on U.S. companies to provide technology to China.

Both nations currently remain at a standstill, and remain unwilling to bend on their stances over these items. The Chinese have been uneasy to agree to language written into these deals without the U.S. providing a tariff rollback guarantee. Meanwhile, the U.S. wont agree to any tariff rollbacks without a commitment from the Chinese on the previously mentioned business matters related to agriculture and technology.

President Trump was blunt in stating, “I don’t think they’re stepping up to the level that I want.”

Both sides are seemingly unwilling to stand down from their positions as we head towards December 15th, when additional tariffs are expected to be levied.

CN Strike Continues Despite Ongoing Negotiations

Canadian National Railway conductors went on strike on November 19, citing safety concerns and working conditions which have resulted in multiple deaths over the past two years. Wages are not said to be the primary reason for the strike. More than 3,000 conductors, yard works, and other train workers were picketing outside most of the company’s major Canadian terminals. This stoppage marks the first since 2009 when workers went on strike for less than a week.

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has been meeting with railway official in ongoing discussions without much progress over the last week. Officials continue to work toward resolving disputes despite Canada’s largest major shipper of the country’s oil and gas, mining, forest and agricultural products to foreign buyers coming to a hault.

The province of Alberta has pushed for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pass legislation forcing railway employees back to work. Alberta is heavily involved in the oil and gas industry. Negotiations continued over the weekend as CN officials remain committed to working closely with the union and federal mediators to reach a fair agreement and find a solution to get railway employees back to work as soon as possible.

Upcoming International Holiday Schedule:

  • November 25th: Statehood Day (Bosnia)
  • November 26th: Republic Day (Mongolia)
  • November 28th: Thanksgiving Day (United States)
  • November 30th: Bonifacio Day (Philippines)
  • December 3rd: Feast of St Francis (Spain)
  • December 25th: Christmas Day United States)
  • December 26th: Boxing Day / St. Stephen’s Day (Australia / Spain)
  • December 31st: New Years Eve (International)