China 'confident' of trade deal with US

Marcus Newton
January 8, 2019

USA and Chinese officials expressed optimism before the two day talks, but Beijing at the same time complained about the sighting of the U.S.S. McCampbell destroyer in what it said were Chinese waters near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The two sides plan to continue discussions on Tuesday.

Trump has imposed tariffs to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from corporate espionage to market access and industrial subsidies.

If Hu is correct, then it may be much harder for the Trump administration to resolve the trade dispute with China.

China had previously said the talks would be led by a lower-ranking official from the Ministry of Commerce.

US President Donald Trump (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires December 1, 2018.

The U.S. delegation, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, includes under-secretaries from the U.S. departments of agriculture, commerce, energy and treasury, as well as senior officials from the White House.

The working level talks held at the Chinese Commerce Ministry were the first round of face-to-face discussions since both sides agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The potential of movement on China-U.S. trade means a moderation of extreme bearishness around the outlook for global growth", Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in an interview.

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Earlier in the week Apple Inc plunged the most since 2013 after flagging slower iPhone sales, especially in China - a trend the company blamed on the trade spat. The preliminary skirmishes have already done damage to China's economy and some sectors of the USA economy as well as its financial markets and have had flow-on effects in the greater Asian region and even Europe.

The European Union filed its own challenge in the World Trade Organization in June against Chinese rules that the 28-nation trade bloc said hamper the ability of foreign companies to protect and profit from their own technology.

China is grappling with a slowing domestic economy, with growth easing to 6.5 per cent in the third quarter, as a battle against debt has ramped up.

The US was "confirming the logistics of several meetings" that could be held with China during the forum, Mnuchin told Bloomberg News last month. Beijing responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing down customs clearance for USA companies, and suspending issuance of licenses in finance and other industries.

Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to Dollars 375 billion, sounded positive note by saying that negotiations between the two sides were going "very well".

"We have made stern complaints with the U.S.", Lu said.

Pauline Loong, head of the Hong-Kong based think-tank, Asia Analytica, told Al Jazeera China "wants an agreement to end the trade dispute as soon as possible".

China's foreign ministry said Monday that both sides are expressing a will to work together to push forward a consensus.

"As for whether the Chinese economy is good or not, I have already explained this". Numerous practices the administration has objected to, such as subsidizing national champion businesses, are at the very heart of China's state-centric system of economic development.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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