Another Delay in Trade Negotiations

Written by Jennifer Clark
Posted December 4, 2019

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump insinuated that the U.S.-China trade war could go on longer — a lot longer than anyone would have imagined. 

President Trump told reporters in London:

In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election, if you want to know the truth. The China trade deal is dependent on one thing: do I want to make it.

With the November 2020 presidential election a little less than a year away, his idea of waiting almost 12 months to come to a conclusion seems unnecessary. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that waiting until the 2020 election to reach a trade deal with China could take away some of Beijing’s leverage:

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That takes off the table something that they may think gives them some leverage. Because once the election occurs — and the president seems to be in very good shape for the election — once it occurs and he’s back in, now that’s no longer a distraction that can detract from our negotiating position. 

While negotiations could be put off for another year, industries are feeling the effects right now.

Solar Industry Greatly Impacted by Trade War

A report published this week shows that the U.S. solar industry could lose out on the creation of around 62,000 jobs and $19 billion in investment because of the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported panels. 

In early 2018, a four-year tariff went into effect. According to a study by the U.S. Solar Industries Association (SEIA), if the tariff remains in place, the solar industry will create tens of thousands of jobs less than it would have between 2017 and 2021. 

Abigail Ross Hopper, the president of SEIA, said this in a statement:

Solar was the first industry to be hit with this administration’s tariff policy, and now we’re feeling the impacts that we warned against two years ago.

Most of the solar panels installed in the U.S. are made in Asia. Tariffs are making panels very expensive despite global panel prices continuing to fall due to an oversupply in China. SEIA’s report has found that U.S. solar prices are some of the highest in the world, making it hard for the industry to compete with other forms of electricity generation. 

Will We Ever Have a Resolution?

On Tuesday, in response to Trump saying that the trade war could continue into 2020, a China-backed media outlet tweeted that the government plans on releasing an “unreliable entities” list of U.S. companies. 

The tension is growing as everyone continues to feel the backlash from this trade war. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 250 points in early trading.

These negotiations are expected to be revisited on December 15, but by the looks of things, there will likely be no resolution on that day, either. So Americans will be paying new tariffs on Chinese-made iPhones and toys, with potential tariffs on French champagne, cheeses, and other goods looming. This means higher prices for U.S. consumers. A recent report said that tariffs on Chinese goods could cost the average American household $600 annually. If the next round goes into effect, consumers could be paying up to $1,000 a year more. 

A resolution needs to come soon.

Until next time, 

Jennifer Clark
Pro Trader Today

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