Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

United States in China trade talks again, demands 'change of posture'

United States in China trade talks again, demands 'change of posture'

Reuters reported on Wednesday that China had delivered a written response to Washington's demands, citing three U.S. government sources.

The US is reportedly preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by December if talks between Trump and Xi at the G-20 summit don't result in any positive outcome with respect to trade negotiations. "This is China's best (if not last) chance to avoid a cold-war scenario with the United States", Pence underscored, Sputnik reported. Trump has made it a priority to take an aggressive stance against China for what he says are unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

Three US government sources told Reuters on Wednesday that China had sent a response to US demands on those and other issues, but gave no further details on its contents.

The Trump administration has said that it wanted a substantive response to a long list of demands for what it calls "structural" changes in Chinese industrial policy.

One of the sources briefed on China's response said it reiterated pledges Xi had made in recent speeches, and demanded that the United States lift tariffs, including those placed on steel and aluminium imports.

The United States was demanding that the Chinese come up with a clear offer before negotiations on a trade deal could start, while Beijing had been reluctant, seeking talks ahead of making any firm proposals.

Some Chinese scholars said agriculture and energy may be where the two leaders can find consensus. "We're having communications at all levels of the USA and Chinese government" to prepare for the Group of 20 leaders' summit in Argentina, taking place November 30-Dec. 1.

In our copyright material "Impact on the world economy: a trade war United States and China", noted that the deterioration in trade relations between the superpowers US and China is on the rise.

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The United States could also create a monitoring mechanism to ensure China walks its talk this time, he adds.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, asked on Thursday about the Chinese response, said that "high-level" contact had resumed since Trump and Xi spoke by phone.

The Trump administration hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology as the price of market access.

Future trade talks could hinge on whether or not tariffs rise on January 1. In a thinly-veiled broadside at Mnuchin and other advocates of a negotiated solution, he also said no one but Trump or Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, should be negotiating with Beijing.

US-China business Council President Craig Allen told Reuters last week that he thought it was likely China would withdraw from any process set at the G20 if the Trump administration went forward with raising the tariff rate.

He advised the Chinese government to come with concrete proposals that address all the issues now going on with the United States including respect for global rules and norms, rampant intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and restricted access to Chinese markets.

Washington should "respect China's sovereignty, security and development interest, as well as the path of development chosen by the Chinese people", said the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

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