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在签署之前,美国一直保密与中国的贸易协议

2020-1-15 15:17

华盛顿(CNN)美国总统唐纳德·特朗普将于周三与中国高级领导人签署一项初步贸易协议,但该文件仍处于保密状态。

 

这份估计有80多页长的文本没有公开发表,这是特朗普在贸易协定谈判中采取非常规手段的又一个例子。

 

美国总统一般不会签署此类双边协议,但特朗普已经把签署此类协议当成了一种惯例,在他担任总统期间,他甚至与日本和韩国签署了一些小型协议。更重要的是,贸易协定通常由国会审议,给立法者时间审查其条款。通常情况下,那些有直接利益关系的人——商业团体、农民、立法者、贸易律师——有机会仔细检查每一个细节。


但这次不是。

 

相反,特朗普政府和中国领导人一直期待已久的协议细节紧密,并多次在全面描述了协议条款,援引北京承诺超越之前的承诺对知识产权盗窃和不迫使美国公司交出他们的技术,以及从中国承诺购买2000亿美元的农产品和其他产品由美国在两年的时间。

 

美国国家对外贸易委员会(National Foreign Trade Council)主席鲁弗斯?

 

因此,尽管12月缓和美国和中国之间帮助立即平静市场不安的恐惧完全贸易战,也留下了许多相关的细节保密,除了少数作为两个国家完成了协议的法律审查和翻译在假期。

 

唯一公开的细节是美国贸易代表办公室(Office of The US Trade Representative)上月发布的一份两页简报。

 

对外关系委员会(Council on Foreign Relations)负责贸易和国际政治经济事务的高级研究员珍妮弗·希尔曼(Jennifer Hillman)说,“这是所有人都知道的官方消息。”

 

交易细节的缺失留下了一长串的问题:中方究竟做出了哪些承诺?该交易将如何执行?什么时候生效?中国会改变法律吗?两国将如何确定它们是否没有遵守这些条款?

 

还有650亿美元的问题:中国是否真的做出了以前没有承诺的新承诺,以换取从美国农民手中购买农产品?

 

“问题当然是我们不知道,因为没有人看过任何文本,”Yerxa说。“没有人知道这些承诺将如何措辞。没有人知道执行机制和程序是什么,也没有人知道执行所有这些机制和程序的时间表是什么。产品目录是什么?第二阶段的计划是什么?”

 

在宣布达成贸易协议之前,中国一直不愿就农业和其他服务领域的任何承诺达成一致,因为根据当前的全球贸易规则,这样做可能会受到其他国家的潜在挑战。

 

政府不被允许设置进口配额,这实际上是在告诉本国企业从哪些国家和地区购买产品。如果披露此事,可能会引发巴西和阿根廷等国的法律挑战,这些国家一直在出口成吨的大豆以满足中国的需求。

 

希尔曼曾在美国国际贸易委员会(itc)担任总法律顾问,并曾在世界贸易组织(wto)最高法院任职。

 

希尔曼补充说:“特朗普政府的问题是,如果不是中国政府下令购买更多商品,那就会出现问题。”“如果真的是由中国的交易员来决定,你怎么知道会发生什么?”谁能保证他们真的会这么做呢?”

 

目前还不清楚奥巴马政府在签署协议后公布文本时是否会填写这些细节。美国财政部长努钦(Steven Mnuchin)周二晚间在白宫对记者说,政府认为公布有关购买协议的所有信息对某些市场“没有帮助”。

 

他还回应了有关特朗普政府正在考虑在11月大选之前保持对中国商品征收关税的新闻报道。

 

姆钦说:“没有其他协议。“这些关税将持续到第二阶段。如果总统很快进入第二阶段,他将考虑将关税作为第二阶段的一部分。否则,不会有任何关税减免。所以,这与选举或其他事情无关。”

 

商界一直希望达成一项有意义的协议,实现特朗普政府的承诺,让两国走上消除关税的道路,但这种缓解可能需要一段时间。

 

“很明显,企业将在相当长一段时间内承受这些关税,”Yerxa说。

 

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Wednesday is expected to sign a preliminary trade deal with senior Chinese leaders -- but the document is still under wraps. 

 

The public absence of the text, estimated to be more than 80 pages long, is yet another example of the unconventional approach Trump has taken in negotiating trade agreements.
 
Presidents typically don't sign such bilateral deals -- and yet Trump has made it a regular practice, inking even mini-deals with Japan and South Korea over his presidency at the White House. What's more, trade agreements are usually reviewed by Congress, allowing time for lawmakers to vet their terms. And typically, those with a direct interest -- business groups, farmers, lawmakers, trade lawyers -- have the chance to run a fine-tooth comb through every detail.
But not this time. 
 
Instead, the Trump administration -- and Chinese leaders -- have kept details on the long-awaited deal tightly held, and have repeatedly described the agreement in sweeping terms, citing promises by Beijing to go beyond prior commitments made on intellectual property theft and to not force US companies to hand over their technology, as well as a pledge from China to buy $200 billion in farm goods and other products made by the US over a two-year period.
 
"What's extraordinary about this is how much uncertainty and lack of transparency there is associated with, not only the whole process of negotiating, but what's in it," said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council.
 
So while the December détente between the United States and China helped to immediately calm market jitters over fears of an outright trade war, it also left many pertinent details confidential except to a select few as the two countries completed a legal review and translation of the agreement over the holidays.
 
The only details made public have been in a two-page fact sheet that was released by the Office of the US Trade Representative last month.
 
"That's all anybody knows -- officially," said Jennifer Hillman, a senior fellow for trade and international political economy for the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
The missing details of the deal have left a litany of questions: Exactly what commitments did the Chinese make? How will the deal be enforceable? When will it take effect? Will China change its laws? How will either country determine if they failed to comply with the terms?
 
And the $65 billion question: Did China actually make any new commitments they had not already previously promised in exchange for purchases of agricultural products from American farmers?
 
"The problem of course is we don't know because nobody's seen any of the text," said Yerxa. "Nobody's aware of exactly how these commitments are going to be worded. Nobody's aware of what the enforcement mechanisms and procedures will be and nobody's aware of what the timetable is for implementation of all of them. What's the list of products? What are the plans for Phase Two?"
 
Leading up to the announced trade deal, China had repeatedly been reluctant to agree to any commitments on agriculture and other services because doing so explicitly could be potentially challenged by other countries based on current global trading rules.
 
Governments are not allowed to place an import quota, effectively telling their companies who and how much to buy from. If disclosed, it would likely prompt a legal challenge by countries like Brazil and Argentina that have been exporting tons of soybeans to meet China's demand.
 
"What we don't know until we read the text is which one is it," said Hillman, who was the former general counsel at the US International Trade Commission and has served on the World Trade Organization's highest court.
 
"The problem for the Trump administration is if it's not the Chinese government ordering additional purchases," Hillman added. "If it really is just left up to the traders in China, how do you know exactly it's going to happen? Where is there any guarantee that they will actually do that?"
 
It also remains immediately unclear if the administration will fill in those details when they release the text after the signing. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening at the White House, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration thought it wouldn't be "helpful" for certain markets to release all the information about purchase agreements.
 
He also addressed news reports that the Trump administration was considering keeping tariffs on Chinese goods in place until after the November election.
 
"There are no other agreements," said Mnuchin. "These tariffs will stay in place until there's a Phase Two. If the President gets a Phase Two quickly, he'll consider releasing tariffs as part of Phase Two. If not, there won't be any tariff relief. So there -- has nothing to do with the election or anything else."
The business community has been hoping for the best in reaching a meaningful deal that will fulfill the promises made by the Trump administration and put the two countries on a path to get rid of the tariffs, but that relief may be a while.
 
"Business is going to be living with these tariffs for quite some time, apparently," said Yerxa.
原作者: Betsy Klein 来自: cnn