China Says Beijing Talks Lay Foundation For Trade Resolution

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 11, 2019

The US-China trade talks with the ongoing deliberations have now entered the final rounds with senior officials from either side taking a stance.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office gave only a few details about the talks in Beijing, noting in a statement that the discussions "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States".

"I don't see any linkage with the trade talks", said Glaser.

On Wall Street, the trade optimism led to the Dow Jones index closed 98 points higher, up 0.4 per cent to 23,531.

The U.S. push for enforceable targets in a deal underscores the challenge of reaching a lasting truce.

Trump has complained repeatedly about the U.S. trade deficit with China, which a year ago likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion.

The USTR statement emphasised American insistence on "structural changes" in Chinese technology policy, market access, protection of foreign patents and copyrights and cyber theft of trade secrets.

A separate geopolitical issue angered China on Monday when a US Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea - a vast expanse claimed by Beijing. "Progress should include a mechanism for the removal of tariffs and measurable, commercially meaningful outcomes", the U.S. -China Business Council in Beijing. Exports of Chinese goods to Russian Federation increased 12 percent and amounted to $43.45 billion, while Russia's sales to China surged 44.3 percent to $53.78 billion. US officials appear to want to maintain the pressure of tariffs, the official said.

China claims nearly all of the strategic South China Sea and frequently lambastes the United States and its allies over naval operations near Chinese-occupied islands.

"China's position in the China-US trade friction and its solutions to the friction is open, it's transparent", Lu said at a regular press briefing.

Uncertainty over the outcome of China-U.S. trade talks cast a pall Thursday over Asian markets as both sides kept mum about what lies ahead.

Some degree of optimism followed a United States trade delegation home from Beijing on Wednesday, after the most comprehensive trade negotiations held yet between the world's two largest economies since a tit-for-tat tariff battle ensued past year.

Later this month, Lighthizer is expected to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, Xi's top economic aide who is leading negotiations for China. Recent reports have claimed negotiators on both sides are making progress as mid-level talks continue in Beijing. In both cases, further declines are on the cards if the talks fail to produce a resolution.

Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to US demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on USA -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

It softened its stand by offering a mix of concessions by resuming purchases of USA soybeans, suspended punitive tariffs on imports of United States cars and toned down its "Made in China 2025" plan, which aimed at breaking the country's reliance on foreign technology and pull its hi-tech industries up to western levels. China aimed to buy at least 5 million tons of American soybeans as part of the truce. The talks come after President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met and agreed to hold off on more tariffs for 90 days, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina last month.

Trump said late Tuesday on Twitter that the talks were "going very well!".

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