U.S. experts, businesspeople welcome China-U.S. phase-one trade deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-14 16:37:53|Editor: ZX
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. experts and businesspeople hailed the China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement on Friday as a move to de-escalate trade tensions, benefit their respective and global economies, and lay a favorable groundwork for future negotiations.

Welcoming the trade deal, Matthew Margulies, vice president of China operations for the U.S.-China Business Council, said, "we need more U.S.-China trade, not less. We need more U.S.-China investment, not less, and we need more engagement with our Chinese counterparts."

Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, said, "this phase-one China deal should go a long way in reversing the downward spiral in bilateral trade relations and increasing certainty for U.S. businesses."

"America's trading partners around the world who were feeling the pain of this trade war must also be breathing a sigh of relief," added Cutler, a veteran trade negotiator who once served as acting deputy U.S. trade representative.

Describing the agreement as "measured and balanced, carefully negotiated to achieve some specific objectives now and to prepare the way for continuing agreement in the future," Robert Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, said, "it has been a long and circuitous road to phase-one, but it is good for both sides, and for the world, that we have arrived."

Stephen Gallagher, chief U.S. economist at the French multinational investment bank Societe Generale, said, "we see the phase-one agreement as modest, but for now, it ends the escalation pattern."

Jason Draho, U.S. head of asset allocation Americas at Swiss financial institution UBS, said the most important impact of the phase-one deal would help improve business sentiment, which could push investment into "projects that have been on hold."

"If that happens, I think the whole global outlook next year looks better than what most people were forecasting just a month or two ago," Draho noted.

Tom Watkins, an advisor to Michigan-China Innovation Center, said the deal "is a good step in the right direction for the Chinese and American people and the global economy," and "provides a foundation for further fruitful bilateral trade negotiations."

Steven Englander, global head of G10 FX research and North America macro strategy at the Standard Chartered Bank, said the deal reduces a lot of downside risks with respect to really bad outcomes.

The deal "will bring much-needed certainty to our supply chain stakeholders and long-awaited relief to our customers," said Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director at Port of Long Beach, the second busiest container port in the United States.

In particular, he welcomed the call-off of tariff hikes, saying that "China is our largest trade partner, accounting for nearly 70 percent of our cargo. This deal will help stabilize our cargo volumes and enable our port to continue to support our local, regional and national economies."

Lauding the deal, the Montana Grain Growers Association said in a statement emailed to Xinhua, "We are very encouraged by the news ... especially the announcement that China will increase their agricultural purchases."

Grant Kimberley, director of market development at the Iowa Soybean Association, said, "it's definitely positive to have something like that. This is a pretty positive day and let's hope that the positive news continues."

Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation and former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, told Xinhua via email that he was "extremely pleased" when learning the news that the phase-one trade deal was imminent.

Quinn said an agreement to benefit both sides will be welcomed by American farmers, as well as Chinese consumers and food processors.

"Most of all, it will contribute in an important way to ensuring the stability of the overall global trading system," he added.