Representatives from the U.S. and China are set to meet in Beijing beginning on March 28 for another round of trade discussion in an attempt to finalize a deal.
Roach said it’s likely that both countries will eventually agree on a deal, but details of the agreement would be “superficial.”
“There’s probably going to be a deal but I think you need to be very careful in assessing the quality of the deal we’re getting. I think the deal will be a superficial deal largely driven by attempts to narrow the bilateral trade imbalance between the U.S. and China,” said Roach.
“But the structural issue in technology and industrial policies, state-owned enterprises, technology transfers – those are much tougher to address and I think the best we’ll get is an agreement to keep talking about them,” he added.
CNBC reported on Thursday that Trump is focused on pushing his negotiators to get China to agree to buy more American goods in order to cut the trade imbalance between the two countries. But the president’s advisors have sought to steer negotiations to long-term structural issues in China to more meaningfully re-balance economic relations between the two nations.