China Trade Talks Conclude on Optimistic Note

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 10, 2019

A member of the USA delegation, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, told reporters that the team would return to the United States later on Wednesday, and talks were "were wrapping up now".

Both sides have implemented the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, and had in-depth discussions about structural economic problems, the ministry said in a statement.

USA officials visited Beijing from Monday to Wednesday for the first sit-down talks since President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.

"We can confidently say that enough progress was made that the discussions will continue at a higher level", said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.

The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper known for its nationalist leanings, said on Twitter around 4 p.m.in Beijing that he'd heard the two sides were still consulting on the wording of their "coordinated" statements.

The Trump administration is pushing for a way to make sure China delivers on its commitments in any deal the two nations reach to defuse a trade war that has roiled financial markets and dimmed the outlook for global growth.

Officials say talks are expected to deliver specific commitments to expand market access for USA in China, improve protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduce the trade surplus with the U.S., but it would take time to reform state-owned firms another major source of friction.

No details were immediately announced, but Asian stock markets rose after talks planned for two days were extended to three.

Speaking at a briefing on Monday, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang shared hopes of reaching an agreement: "From the beginning, we have believed that China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy".

People familiar with the U.S.

The discussions marked the first formal talks since the US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed not to impose new tariffs at the G20 summit in December. They include changes to China's policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and other non-tariff barriers to trade. -China Business Council in Beijing. Trump has complained repeatedly about the US trade deficit with China, which a year ago likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 8% since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month. "And China going forward will likely still want to increase the diversification of its sources of supply even for agricultural commodities".

Chinese exports to the US have held up despite tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit.

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