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New tariffs on over $100 billion of Chinese goods are due to take effect on Sunday, but the Trump administration is sending mixed signals on delaying them as the United States and China keep haggling over a trade deal.
对价值逾1000亿美元的中国商品征收的新关税将于周日生效,但在中美继续就贸易协议的达成讨价还价之际,特朗普政府发出了推迟征税的含糊信号。
American officials have recently hinted in public remarks that President Trump could pause the new tariffs, which, if imposed, would expand American taxes to nearly every product imported from China. While many American officials are eager to avoid the tariffs, people with knowledge of the deliberations said that no decision had been made and that the president could go either way when he meets with advisers this week.
美国官员最近在公开讲话中暗示,特朗普总统可能会暂停征收新的关税。如果征收的话,美国的征税范围将扩大到几乎所有从中国进口的商品。尽管许多美国官员急于避免走到这一步,但据知情人士表示,目前尚未定论,总统可能在本周与顾问会面时做出选择。
The United States and China announced in mid-October that they had reached a so-called Phase 1 trade agreement that would allow Chinese purchases of American agricultural goods to resume while the United States would cancel additional tariffs scheduled for Oct. 15. American officials said that future tariff increases could also be avoided if the pact were signed.
美中在10月中旬宣布达成所谓的第一阶段贸易协议,允许中国恢复购买美国农产品,而美国将取消原定于10月15日征收的额外关税。美国官员表示,如果该协议签署的话,也可以避免未来的加税。
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Since then, negotiators have continued to grapple over the deal’s terms. The two sides remain divided over how many of Mr. Trump’s tariffs will be canceled in return for China’s trade concessions, and over the terms that will govern Chinese purchases of tens of billions of dollars of American agricultural products.
自那以来,双方的谈判代表一直在为协议条款争执不休。在特朗普取消多少关税以换取中方的贸易让步,以及中国购买数百亿美元美国农产品的条款等问题上,双方仍存在分歧。
A completed deal appears unlikely before Mr. Trump’s next scheduled tariff increase, set for 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 15. The move would place a 10 percent tariff on $160 billion of products, including toys, smartphones and other electronics, weighing on consumers and potentially turning into a political liability for a president headed into a re-election campaign. Business groups are worried about further levies.
在特朗普定于12月15日凌晨12点01分的下一次上调关税之前,双方达成全面交易的可能性似乎不大。这次将对玩具、智能手机和其他电子产品在内的1600亿美元的产品征收10%的关税,这会给消费者带来压力,并可能成为即将竞选连任的总统的政治累赘。商业团体对进一步征税非常担忧。
“We’re still in a high-stakes poker game,” said Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
美国商会(U.S. Chamber of Commerce)常务副会长薄迈伦(Myron Brilliant)说:“我们仍在玩一场下重注的扑克。”
“Having another round of tariffs would be a poison pill in the context of the current U.S.-China negotiations, and in the context of the global economy,” Mr. Brilliant added. “We hope both sides understand the urgency of getting an agreement finalized as soon as possible.”
“在当前的美中谈判以及全球经济背景下,再来一轮关税无异于下毒,”薄迈伦补充道。“我们希望双方都明白尽快达成协议的紧迫性。”
If Mr. Trump delays those tariffs to allow more time for negotiations, it would be the fifth time this year that he has delayed or canceled tariffs. That could prompt criticism that China is taking advantage of the negotiating process.
如果特朗普为了给谈判留出更多时间而推迟征税的话,将是他今年第五次推迟或取消关税。这可能会招致批评,认为谈判进程遭到中国的利用。
With pressure growing, administration officials have weighed a variety of options. Michael Pillsbury, a Hudson Institute scholar who advises Mr. Trump, drafted a memo that has been circulated to the White House outlining possible actions.
随着压力的增大,政府官员在权衡各种选择。为特朗普提供建议的哈德逊研究所(Hudson Institute)学者白邦瑞(Michael Pillsbury)起草了一份备忘录,概述了有可能采取的行动,并已提交给白宫。
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The memo, which was reviewed by The New York Times, included options like extending the deadline with a commitment to hold additional talks. A more aggressive approach would entail Mr. Trump ratcheting tariff rates higher, perhaps beyond 50 percent, and refusing to soften on any of his original demands.
《纽约时报》看到的这份备忘录上面,选项包括延长最后期限、承诺举行更多会谈。更激进的做法就是特朗普逐步提高关税税率,甚至可能超过50%,并在最初提出的要求上不作让步。
The significant progress this week on moving Mr. Trump’s revised North American trade deal toward a vote in Congress appears to have further slowed progress toward a resolution by diverting the administration’s attention away from China.
本周,特朗普政府重新谈判的北美贸易协定在国会投票表决方面取得重大进展,政府注意力的转移,似乎进一步拖慢了美中达成决议的进程。
As the deadline nears, the December tariffs’ fate has grown particularly cloudy. Some say that China has tried to appeal to Mr. Trump’s desire to see more farm purchases by offering a waiver on tariffs it had placed on American soybeans, a move that prompted Chinese companies to make large bulk purchases of American goods.
随着最后期限的临近,12月关税的去留变得格外不确定。有人说,由于特朗普希望中国增加农产品购买,中国提出免除对美国大豆征收的关税,就是在迎合这一点,此举促使中国公司大量购买美国商品。
Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said this week during a trip to Indiana that he did not expect the new tariffs would be imposed.
农业部长桑尼·珀杜(Sonny Perdue)在本周前往印第安纳州期间表示,他认为新关税不会实施。
“I think we may see some backing away,” Mr. Perdue said, according to Bloomberg News. “I don’t think the president wants to implement these new tariffs but there’s got to be some movement on their part to encourage him not to do that and hopefully the signal that they sent over soy and pork reduction might be that signal.”
“我觉得可能会有一些让步,”据彭博社报道,珀杜说:“我不认为总统想要实施这些新关税,但是对方必须采取一些行动来促使他不这样做,希望他们对大豆和猪肉的减税就是这样的信号。”
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the two sides were in constant contact and that an agreement should not be sidetracked by an “arbitrary” deadline.
上周,财政部长史蒂文·马努钦(Steven Mnuchin)表示,双方一致保持着紧密联系,并且贸易协议不能被一个“随意”的期限喧宾夺主。
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But other officials were careful not to lift the threat just yet.
但其他官员仍持谨慎态度,认为威胁还未解除。
“Those tariffs are still on the table,” Larry Kudlow, the chairman of the National Economic Council, said at a WSJ CEO Council event on Tuesday, adding that he did not want to sound pessimistic about a deal.
国家经济委员会主席拉里·库德洛(Larry Kudlow)在周二的《华尔街日报》CEO委员会(WSJ CEO Council)的一场活动上说:“这些关税仍然是有可能征收的。”他补充说他不希望传达对协议的悲观态度。
Speaking at the same gathering on Monday, Jared Kushner, a close adviser to the president, said that he did not know what decision Mr. Trump would make but that the talks were “heading in a good direction.” Mr. Kushner has recently taken a more prominent role in the talks, offering to try to find common ground between the Chinese negotiators and his father-in-law.
周一,总统的亲密顾问贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)在同一活动上表示,他不知道特朗普会做出什么样的决定,但谈判“正在朝着好的方向前进”。库什纳最近在会谈中扮演更重要的角色,以寻求在中国谈判代表与其岳父之间寻找共同点。
Since Mr. Trump announced that he reached a deal in October, China has pushed for the United States to roll back tariffs it has placed on $360 billion worth of goods. Negotiations have centered on whether the United States would lift the tariffs it has imposed since September, or whether it might slash the overall rate for all or some of the tariffs in effect — for example reducing the existing tax on China by half.
自从特朗普在10月宣布达成协议以来,中国一直在敦促美国取消对价值3600亿美元的商品征收的关税。谈判的焦点是美国是否将取消自9月以来征收的关税,或者是否可能将现行的所有或部分关税的整体税率下调——例如将现有的对华税收减半。
Critics have said that the Phase 1 deal may only temporarily calm relations since it would do little to address America’s longer-term concerns about China’s economic practices.
批评人士表示,第一阶段协议可能只是暂时安抚两国关系,因为这对解决美国对中国经济惯用手段的长期担忧无济于事。
The preliminary deal promises to lock in Chinese purchases of American agriculture goods, open Chinese financial markets to American companies and strengthen China’s protections for intellectual property. But analysts say it appears to secure only limited protections against China’s practices of coercing technology away from the United States, and does nothing to stop China’s pattern of heavily subsidizing its industries.
初步协议承诺锁定中国对美国农产品的购买,向美国公司开放中国金融市场,并加强中国对知识产权的保护。但是分析人士说,它似乎只能针对中国强迫美国技术转让提供有限的保护,并不能阻止中国大量补贴其产业的模式。
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In a series of interviews in Beijing on Tuesday, people familiar with China’s trade policies said that the Chinese government had discernibly hardened its negotiating positions since Mr. Trump and Vice Premier Liu He reached their agreement in October.
周二,在北京进行的一系列访谈中,熟悉中国贸易政策的人士表示,自从特朗普与副总理刘鹤于10月达成协议以来,中国政府的谈判立场明显变得强硬。
The Phase 1 agreement attracted criticism from the more nationalistic wing of the Chinese government because it called for Beijing to resume buying American farm goods in exchange for the United States not raising tariffs further, but without any American pledge to roll back some of the tariffs already imposed. Any tariff cuts were left for later phases, an arrangement that was assailed in China as too favorable to the United States.
第一阶段协议引起了中国政府中较具民族主义倾向的人士的批评,因为它要求北京恢复购买美国农产品,以换取美国不再进一步提高关税,但没有得到美国取消已征收关税的承诺。任何降低关税的措施都留在了以后阶段,中方抨击这种处理太偏向美国一方。
Since early November, Chinese negotiators have demanded that a Phase 1 deal include some tariff relief.
自11月初以来,中国谈判代表要求第一阶段协议包含一些关税减免。
“They believe this will make the deal equal — otherwise it will be one-sided,” said Professor Tu Xinquan, the executive dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. The trade ministry founded the university and retains close links to it.
“他们相信这使交易变得平等——否则将是单方面的,”北京的对外经济贸易大学中国世界贸易组织研究院院长屠新泉教授表示。这所大学由政府的贸易部门成立,并保持了密切联系。
Deferring rollbacks to a Phase 2 or subsequent agreement is being resisted by Chinese negotiators, Mr. Tu said, adding that, “they want every agreement to be equal.”
屠新泉说,将关税回滚推迟到第二阶段或后续协议的做法遭到了中方谈判代表的抵制。他还说,“他们希望每一个协议都是平等的。”
But China has been wary of offering further concessions to offset a tariff rollback. That has stymied negotiators at least temporarily.
但中国不太愿意通过进一步的妥协来补偿关税回滚。这至少短期内束缚了谈判人员的手脚。
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American officials say that they are still waiting for China to signal its willingness to make the necessary concessions to seal a deal.
美国官员说,他们仍在等待中国愿意为达成协议作出必要让步的信号。
Clete Willems, a partner at Akin Gump who left the White House this year, said China appeared to be taking actions, like the soybean purchases, to persuade the administration to delay the tariffs as both sides work toward a deal.
安庆律师事务所(Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld)合伙人、今年离任白宫的克莱特·威廉姆斯(Clete Willems)说,中国似乎正在采取行动,例如购买大豆,以说服政府在双方努力达成协议的同时推迟关税征收。
“The president has a decision to make,” Mr. Willems said, “and realistically he could still go both ways.”
“总统需要做决定,”威廉姆斯说,“但现实的情况是,他可能还是两个都选。”