China trade talks resume this week in Beijing

Elias Hubbard
February 11, 2019

With a March 1 deadline fast approaching, USA and Chinese officials resume negotiations next week to prevent escalation of a trade dispute that has major implications for the global economy.

"But in fact, people may have fallen into an "agenda setting" trap by the US".

However, amid pressure from the business community for the two sides to resolve the dispute, CNBC cited a senior administration official saying the March 1 deadline could be pushed back.

A new round of trade talks begins in Beijing tomorrow, after the most recent set of negotiations concluded in Washington last month without a deal and with the top U.S. negotiator declaring that a lot more work needed to be done.

Working-level talks will to kick off Monday, while higher principal-level talks will take place Thursday and Friday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in attendance.

The Chinese government has been trying to play down the significance of the March 1 deadline since December 1, when Xi and US President Donald Trump agreed to the trade war truce in Buenos Aires at the end of past year.

Mr Lighthizer, named by President Trump to spearhead the process after agreeing to a 90-day truce in the trade war with Beijing, has been a strong proponent of pushing China to make reforms and end what the USA views as unfair trade practices, including stealing intellectual property and forcing USA companies to share their technology with Chinese firms.

The official Chinese statement and most state media reports about the meeting between Xi and Trump also did not mention the 90-day period.

USA trade representative Lighthizer said in December that March 1 was a "hard deadline".

If a deal is not reached by the beginning of next month then Washington is set to more than double tariffs on 200 billion dollars-worth of Chinese imports.

China's economy already has shown signs of slowing, while the trade war has shaken the confidence of United States businesses, as retaliatory tariffs have raised prices and helped choke off a key export market. "You can't just look at what the U.S. says, you have to factor in China's considerations", the opinion piece by Taoran Notes said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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