US, China trade talks conclude on positive note

Darnell Taylor
January 12, 2019

No details were immediately announced, but stocks rose after talks planned for two days were extended to three.

"With regard to trade issues and structural problems both sides were concerned about, both carried out extensive, deep, and meticulous exchanges, promoted mutual understanding, and laid the foundation for solving problems that both are interested in", the statement read.

The U.S. -China Business Council, a group representing American companies doing business in China, said January 9 that it welcomed the "substantive discussions" during the talks, but urged the two sides to reach "measurable" results. It said US negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington.

Lu Kang, a spokesman at the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters that "China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy", according to Reuters.

As the Trump administration continues trade negotiations with China, the US delegation is taking additional steps to make sure the Communist country follows through on its pledges. The delegations were led by deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish on the US side and vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen on the Chinese side.

That throws into doubt the possibility of a trade agreement based largely on Chinese promises to raise USA imports.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that trade talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work toward a deal.

China and the United States have in the past repeatedly traded barbs over what Washington says is Beijing's militarization of the South China Sea by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs.

The World Bank this week cut its outlook for the global economy as growth in trade and investment slowed and rising interest rates sapped momentum, especially in emerging markets.

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Schumer has seized on that declaration by Trump even as the President has sought more recently to shift blame to Democrats. Pressure on both sides could intensify on Friday when about 800,000 federal employees miss their first paychecks.

A statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative didn't characterize the tone of the talks or say what would happen next.

"China is determined to bring the trade war to an end", The Economist has reported.

Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields.

American leaders worry those plans might erode USA industrial leadership, but Chinese leaders see them as a path to prosperity and global influence and are reluctant to abandon them.

Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to United States dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well".

The US China Business Council, which represents American companies working in China, applauded the "substantive discussions" but urged both sides to make tangible progress on achieving equal treatment of foreign companies in China and changes to policies aimed at technology transfer. Buying had slumped after China imposed a 25% import duty on U.S. shipments of oilseed on July 6 in response to USA tariffs.

The Chinese responded by slapping tariffs of $110bn worth of U.S. goods.

U.S. companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.

"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the U.S.

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