US, China trade negotiations positive as Beijing meetings continue

Lester Mason
January 11, 2019

A United States delegation arrived in Beijing on Monday for the first face-to-face dialogue with officials in Beijing since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a three-month tariff truce during a meeting held on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina on December 1.

"I can confirm we are continuing tomorrow (Wednesday)", Steven Winberg, assistant energy secretary, told reporters after returning to his hotel in Beijing.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States was having tremendous success in its trade negotiations with China, a day after USA and Chinese officials concluded three days of talks in Beijing.

Going by the media statements given by top Trump administration members, including undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs Ted McKinney, the United States was able to deliberate China into a pledge of buying substantial amount of American agricultural, energy and manufacturing products.

One of the biggest challenges to any deal would be to ensure that China enforces whatever is agreed to stop technology transfers, intellectual property theft and hacking of U.S. computer networks.

Also, "Both parties agreed to continue to maintain close contact".

-China trade talks ended in Beijing today, an extension by a day of the two-day sessions planned to follow up on the mandate from the December 1, 2018 talks between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, to reach a resolution of trade disputes by March 1, 2019. The USTR said the American delegation was returning to Washington to report on the meetings and "receive guidance on the next steps".

In a brief statement earlier, the ministry said the talks were extensive, and helped establish a foundation for the resolution of each others' concerns, but gave no details.

"I don't think the USA will easily remove tariffs that have been imposed on Chinese goods".

According to the latest data by China's customs administration, trade turnover between the neighboring states grew 27.8 percent from January through November 2018 compared to the same period in the previous year, and totaled $97.23 billion.

Investors welcomed signs of optimism from the talks.


The USTR statement emphasised American insistence on "structural changes" in Chinese technology policy, market access, protection of foreign patents and copyrights and cyber theft of trade secrets. In a Tweet Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump said the talks were "going very well!".

China is facing the daunting task of presenting a credible plan to meet Trump's demands to cut down the trade deficit.

The negotiations now pave the way for both countries' top negotiators - US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He - to thrash out a deal.

While Chinese goods going to the USA initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data.

Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.

The full year numbers will look somewhat different, partly because China has resumed purchases of US soybeans and other goods.

Trump has been demanding China to drastically reduce the Dollars 375 billion trade deficit and ensure IPR production for USA technology and services.

Earlier this week, China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import, the first in about 18 months, which could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease USA pressure to open its markets to more farm goods.

China's trade data for the full year of 2018 is due to be released on January 14, and economists see year-on-year export growth slowing in December from November. USA crude, which has jumped 15 percent in 2019, dropped 63 cents to $51.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The article reasons that USA demands can actually benefit China.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER