U.S. Comments on Hong Kong Could Jeopardize Trade Talks

Any U.S. attempt to sway China’s dealings with Hong Kong could jeopardize efforts to reach a trade agreement. Communist party leaders in China say, “Events in Hong Kong were the internal affairs of China, and linking them with trade negotiations was a dirty aim,” according to the South China Morning Post. The remarks followed Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks that the Trump administration would continue to urge Beijing to resolve differences with the protesters peacefully. China officials say the U.S. would “be naive in thinking China would make concessions if they played the Hong Kong card.” Further trade talks are planned for early September. However, Hong Kong, and the U.S. selling fighter jets to Taiwan, has brought further political uncertainty to the mix. The talks stalled earlier this year, and China announced it would stop purchasing U.S. ag products this month, following more tariffs announced by President Trump. China was once a $24 billion market for U.S. agriculture, falling to $9 billion last year.