US, China wrap up trade talks in Beijing

Marcus Newton
January 11, 2019

Mofcom spokesman Gao Feng said that these issues were an important item of the negotiations, and that progress has been made.

"The length of the meetings shows that both sides were serious and honest about the talks", he said. Media reports, citing USA officials, have said that the talks were still underway on Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that the talks "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States". But aside from some soybean purchases, there has been little sign of big-ticket acquisitions.

Notably, in Thursday's press conference in Beijing, Gao avoided verifying some of the specifics of the USTR press release, including the promise for China to purchase increased amounts of USA goods as well as the specific list of issues covered.

"From the beginning we have believed that China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy".

With the clock ticking down to March 1, when the 90-day trade truce expires, the tug-of-war within the Trump administration over what would constitute success may be even more important than talks with the Chinese. Investors also weighed conflicting signals on retail sales and U.S. "We hope your company can become an in-depth participant in China's opening and a promoter of the stability of Chinese-U.S. relations".

Without a resolution, punitive U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

The paper said in an editorial that the dispute harms both countries and disrupts the worldwide trade order and supply chains.

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The U.S. statement said the negotiations dealt with the need for any deal with China to be "subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement" - a comment that reflects U.S. frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments. The U.S. wants China to change its technology policy to reduce cyber theft of trade secrets as well as more access to the Chinese market for non-Chinese companies and increased protection for foreign patents and copyrights.

"I confirm we're continuing tomorrow, yes", Winberg said, declining to answer further questions.

It was possible, she said, that either the truce would be extended or a lower than threatened tariff rate would be implemented on the US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

That added to advances since last week in equity markets around the world, following a strong US employment report and comments from the Federal Reserve chief that calmed worries USA interest rate hikes would hurt growth.

Experts say that recent remarks from senior leaders on both sides indicate there is political will to reach a deal. Apple Inc. cut its revenue outlook last week as sales of the iPhone were slower than expected in China, while data on factory activity and retail sales in the Asian nation were also weak.

"Talks with China are going very well!" Xi promised to fix the trade imbalance issue with the United States by starting to purchase U.S. agricultural products.

The trade talks between China and the United States this week have laid a foundation for resolving their disputes, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

El Paso, Texas-based Helen of Troy Ltd, a maker of consumer products from OXO kitchen utensils to Braun shavers, cut its sales and gross margin outlooks on Tuesday laid some of the blame on U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, which make up 70 percent of the company's cost of products sold.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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