China Trade Talks Conclude on Optimistic Note

Andrew Cummings
January 10, 2019

However, the USA side is pressing Beijing to scrap or change rules Washington says block market access or improperly help Chinese companies.

However, the official Trump put in charge of the talks, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, has focused on pressing Beijing to scrap or change rules Washington says block market access or improperly help Chinese companies.

Meanwhile, confirming the conclusion of the trade talks, China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that "the extension of the talks indicates that both sides are serious about this consultation".

China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said the two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by the two presidents in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings. It said US negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington.

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

The U.S. and China wrapped up their trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday.

It softened its stand by offering a mix of concessions by resuming purchases of USA soybeans, suspended punitive tariffs on imports of U.S. 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. Stocks rose globally after the two economic powers appeared to inch closer to an agreement, with the S&P 500 Index rising for a fourth day to the highest in nearly a month.

So far, the USA side has described the exchanges in a positive light. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress on a deal. Trump has complained repeatedly about the US trade deficit with China, which past year likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion.

As evidence mounts by the day that the slowdown in China's economy is worsening, policy makers in Beijing are focusing on getting rid of the duties that Trump has leveled on Chinese goods since past year, according to a former high-level official briefed on the government's thinking.

The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of USA farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets.

Companies in both the United States and China are feeling the pain from the effects of the U.S.

Neither Chinese nor United States officials have given any details about the discussions.

The negotiations were extended from the two days initially scheduled, according to the Chinese.

"Talks with China are going very well!".

Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based global order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise".

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