United States and China talks have progressed to what seems to be a “truce”. The trade war started, according to Chinese former chairman of the state-owned Citic Group and Everbright Bank, Kong Dan, as a reflection of U.S. fear of the state-led economic system. For the americans, these measures are a way to deal with China’s unfair trading practices.
In late April, senior U.S. officials said that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could sign a deal later this month, due to have reached an agreement on enforcement and other key elements of the dispute.
Recently, the largest Chinese oil refiner, Sinotec, received its firsts U.S. crude oil cargos since September, which implies that the Chinese market is also optimistic about the trade talks.
One sticking point remains, though: what to do with all the tariffs that the two sides imposed on each other in the last year? China wants them to be lifted, but the U.S. wants to leave at least some of these taxes on Chinese goods in place.
Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative who is leading the talks with China, thinks that retaining some tariffs works as leverage on the Chinese. Duties would come off as Beijing demonstrates it’s following through on its promises.
The Stone Industry
U.S. quartz importers follow these trade talks with close attention, as the retaining of duties on importations of Chinese quartz could mean serious financial risk for a lot of them.
In november 2018, the Commerce Department set a 242.1% to 314.1% tariff to all the engineered quartz imported from China, which means a massive barrier that brings the importation cost to an unacceptable levels to the market.
U.S. importers follow these trade talks with close attention, the rising duty could represent the end of their business, leading some companies to fight against the government on court or to their final chapter: bankruptcy.
In the meantime, distributors, fabricators and builders, in other words, the whole market is looking for a safer solution, that could reduce its effect on their supply chain, such as seeking new partners worldwide.