The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that was scheduled to be held in Santiago in mid-November will be cancelled, the Chilean government has announced.
This summit had assumed importance all across the world because the United States President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were supposed to sign an initial trade agreement – called the ‘phase one’ of the trade agreement, on the sidelines of the summit. The two counties engaged in a long drawn and acrimonious trade war, plans to move forward on a comprehensive trade deal following this ‘phase one’ singing.
According to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, the government was forced to cancel the summit because of the ongoing political protest in the country.
“This has been a very tough decision … but it is based on the wise principle of common sense,” Pinera said in a media address Wednesday.
“A president must always put his compatriots above all else,” Pinera said. “Our main concern is reestablishing public order, our citizens’ safety and social peace along with pushing through a social agenda to respond to the main demands of our citizens.”
Last week, a state of emergency was extended to several cities across the country by the Chilean government because the nationwide protests, which had been sparked because of a hike in public transport fares, had turned violent with the protesters now demanding resignation of the President.
Following the decision of Chile to call off the summit now raises the question about whether the two leaders of the US and China will meet at some other place in order to sing the partial but much needed trade deal.
The US has come to a “very substantial phase one deal” with China, Trump said earlier this month and added that singing of the ‘phase one’ of the deal will “almost immediately” Jerald the beginning of negotiations for phase two of the deal. Following the agreement for the first phase deal, Trump postponed a proposed tariff hike on the import of $250 billion in Chinese goods which was slated to be implemented from October 15.
“We don’t know. I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” said a White House spokesman when asked about the Chilean cancellation.
Issues such as security of intellectual property and access of American companies to China’s financial services market would be addressed in the agreement, Trump had said, it would also include an assurance from China to purchase American agriculture products worth between $40 billion and $50 billion.
Considerations were being made about the extending certain tariff exclusions on $34 billion of imports from China, the US said on Monday, because the two countries were working together towards reaching a trade agreement. Exemptions on nearly 1,000 products are set to expire in December.
(Adapted form CNBC.com)