Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

China and US to hold trade talks in Beijing next week

China and US to hold trade talks in Beijing next week

At a summit in Argentina late previous year, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days while they attempted to negotiate a deal.

The two days of meetings are aimed at carrying out the December 1 truce by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping that postponed additional tariff hikes, the Ministry of Commerce announced Friday. The U.S. -China trade war is one piece of the puzzle, as is the backlash to the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.

President Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices, concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

He campaigned on a pledge to make trade fairer for the United States and to help American manufacturers. "There are a heck of a lot of USA companies that have sales in China that are going to be watching their earnings being downgraded next year until we get a deal with China".

The talks are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on USA charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

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Trump wants Beijing to roll back initiatives including "Made in China 2025", which calls for state-led creation of champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.

Chinese economic growth fell to a post-global crisis of 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in September. Some U.S. demands would require structural reform that may be unpalatable for Chinese leaders.

That agreement saw China commit to renewed purchases of U.S. agricultural goods like soybeans, in return for the delay of a fresh swathe of tariffs Washington was set to impose on Chinese goods.

"In the early hours of Friday, China and the United States held telephone talks on the level of deputy ministers, during which they confirmed that the U.S. delegation will arrive in China on January 7-8", the ministry said in a statement. Beijing responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing down customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuance of licenses in finance and other industries.

United States factory activity slowed more than expected in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), while Chinese data on Monday showed its manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in more than two years.

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