February 27, 2019 / 4:12 AM / 4 months ago

U.S.-China trade: tariff and non-tariff barriers

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said this week he may soon sign a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping to end a trade war blamed for slowing global economic growth and disrupting markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a meeting with China's Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (R) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Citing progress in talks between the two countries, Trump said he would delay a planned increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

China’s trade surplus with the United States, which is at the center of their dispute, rose to $323.32 billion last year, the biggest on record going back to 2006.

Graphic: China's trade surplus with the United States - tmsnrt.rs/2RSj3PM

China’s average import tariff of 3.5 percent is the highest among top industrial nations, data from the World Bank shows, although its tariff rates have fallen sharply over the past 20 years.

Graphic: China and G10 countries average tariff rate - tmsnrt.rs/2BT9Hu5

Trump and Xi called a 90-day truce last year to allow time for a deal to be negotiated. But the U.S. threat of tariff increases comes just as China is trying to support its cooling economy, so could offer Trump leverage in the talks.

Negotiators from both camps have been seeking to iron out differences over China’s treatment of state-owned enterprises, subsidies, forced technology transfers and cyber theft.

The two sides are expected to sign memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for actions to be taken by China on issues ranging from structural reforms to trade and economic policies.

Graphic: China's major exports in 2018 - tmsnrt.rs/2U9Qdsf

Graphic: China's average tariffs - tmsnrt.rs/2SXiFwB

Graphic: China's technology firms' R&D cost and ROE - tmsnrt.rs/2Ez1qgz

Graphic: Major items among $200 billion tariffs - tmsnrt.rs/2HGBgfj

Graphic: Major items among $34 billion tariffs - tmsnrt.rs/2HG2Rxj

Graphic: Major items among $16 billion tariffs - tmsnrt.rs/2HFiipx

Graphic: China’s top imports and exports to U.S. - China’s top imports and exports to U.S.

Reuters reported that both sides were drafting MOUs on cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade, including subsidies.

Graphic: US immigrant visas to Chinese residents - tmsnrt.rs/2E6CBbx

Trump administration officials have pointed to China’s industrial subsidies, numerous regulations, business licensing procedures, product standards reviews and other practices as non-tariff barriers to trade.

Graphic: U.S. non-tariff barriers - tmsnrt.rs/2E5xIze

Graphic: China's non-tariff measures sector-wise - tmsnrt.rs/2TKqtCl

Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Additional Reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and Neil Fullick

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