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China and USA schedule more trade talks before March deadline

01 February, 2019, 00:07 | Author: Sara Gill
  • US and China launch trade talks amid differences over economic reforms

At the head of a 30-person delegation from Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He greeted his counterpart, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, against the backdrop of Washington's prosecution of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, which has outraged Beijing and infused the negotiations with uncertainty.

Trade talks with Chinese officials in Washington are going well, President Donald Trump said on Thursday as he prepared to meet a top official from China at the White House, Trend reports referring to Reuters.

The core of the USA allegations against China is that Beijing systematically steals trade secrets, forces foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of access to the Chinese market and subsidizes its own tech companies.

If the two sides can not reach an agreement by 1 March, the USA has said it will increase the tariff rate from 10% to 25% on Chinese goods worth an estimated $200bn.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement can not be reached. After meeting earlier this month, they said they planned to finalize "text-based work" on industrial subsidies early this year and then engage other key WTO members.

"I'd like to accommodate China if we can get the deal done".

While saying that Wednesday's first meetings between American and Chinese negotiators had gone well, Trump added in a morning tweet that "No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long-standing and more hard points".

But he said China wanted to strike a deal to avoid an increase in tariffs.

Trump said any deal must include China opening its market to USA financial institutions, manufacturing and agriculture as well as other unspecified "businesses and industries".

Trump has not yet directly involved himself in the current round of trade talks with the Chinese delegation, but assured his followers that so far things had gone well.


Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and a heavyweight economic team that includes People's Bank Governor Yi Gang and Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen are scheduled to hold two days of meetings.

This is the second round of talks since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met in Argentina past year and agreed to negotiate in the hope of defusing an escalating tariff war.

Beijing hit back with duties on virtually every product it buys from the United States, about $110 billion in goods annually.

Washington also doesn't like that Beijing subsidizes its tech industry as part of its "Belt and Road" initiative to become the world's leader in critical sectors, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

He pushed Trump to renegotiate NAFTA and vigorously defended the punitive tariffs imposed on USA imports of steel and aluminum, a protectionist measure that prompted the departure of Trump's former chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who was more pragmatic than dogmatic and highly respected by financial markets.

The sides are expected to discuss protection of United States intellectual property, the forced transfer of U.S. technology through joint ventures, and enforcement mechanisms to verify that China follows through on any promised changes.

Mr. Trump has threatened to tax every good imported from China unless an agreement can be reached, amounting to an additional more than $250 billion.

But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he expected "significant progress", and noted the governments had time left remaining in their truce.

U.S. officials insist that the Huawei case is entirely separate from the trade negotiations.

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