China-US trade talks end on positive note

Marco Green
January 10, 2019

On Wednesday, the US Trade Representative's offices said in a statement officials from the two sides discussed "ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations".

Washington has presented Beijing with a long list of demands that would rewrite the terms of trade between the world's two largest economies.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed both sides had agreed to extend the talks beyond Monday and Tuesday as originally scheduled.

China and the US will move ahead with trade talks as scheduled, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing at a regular weekly briefing Thursday, without giving any further details over when they would take place.

No schedule for further face-to-face negotiations was released, and USTR said the American delegation would return to Washington to report on the meetings and "to receive guidance on the next steps".

Trump boasted on Twitter on Tuesday that discussions in China were "going very well!".

America is seeking assurances that China will buy more products from the U.S.in order to reduce the trade deficit, and it wants a fairer playing field for US companies that do business inside China, NPR has reported.

Beijing has tried to defuse pressure for more sweeping change by offering concessions including purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.

The three-day closed door negotiations ended on Wednesday (Dec 9) on a positive note. Without a breakthrough in talks, USA corporations are likely to experience a deepening decline in their Chinese sales, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts even seeing an "informal boycott" in place. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress.

The US president is increasingly eager to strike a deal with China soon in an effort to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over the trade war, according to people familiar with internal White House deliberations.

China is now America's largest goods trading partner with Dollars 635.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017.

Companies in both the United States and China are feeling the pain from the effects of the U.S. -China Business Council said in a statement.

Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.

The US imposed tariffs on more than $250bn (£195.6bn) worth of Chinese goods, with the threat of more to come.

Tesla broke ground this week in Shanghai on its first factory outside the U.S. Musk said production of its Model 3 would start late this year. Those include subsidies and other favors for high-tech and state-owned industry, rules on technology licensing and preferential treatment of domestic suppliers in government procurement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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