Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

U.S. pushes China on promises after `in-depth' trade meetings

U.S. pushes China on promises after `in-depth' trade meetings

China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said the two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by the two presidents in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings.

That pledge, addressing a trade deficit in goods, was however mentioned only at the end of the statement which focused on the USA demands for structural changes to China's domestic policies.

They agreed to maintain close contact, the statement said. It said USA negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington. -China trade talks wrapped up 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.

The Sino-U.S. trade talks held in Beijing have concluded and the results will be released soon, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a daily news briefing on Wednesday.

Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that of the issues raised, the trade imbalance problem was "solved most smoothly".

The U.S. team, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included under secretaries from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, and senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

Citing unidentified Chinese officials involved in the trade talks, Bloomberg reported January 9 that there were disagreements between the two delegations on structural issues, which they hope will be addressed when more senior negotiators meet for talks.

If the talks this week between the mid-level USA trade officials and their Chinese counterparts go well, senior Chinese officials are likely to head to D.C.in the coming weeks to continue negotiations, Schmitz reports.

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US stocks and European equities jumped as investors awaited developments on trade talks between the world's largest economies.

This week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on USA charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.

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

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

Without a resolution, punitive United States duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

The U.S.is looking to crack down on China's business practices, including allegations of technology theft along with slashing the trade deficit and getting more access to Chinese markets.

Companies in both countries just want to see a deal get done. The US imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. However, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - who was not present for the talks, but who is tasked with overseeing the negotiating effort - has long emphasized a harder stance on the trade issue, one that would necessitate real Chinese action to reform its state-centric economic approach.

A reduction in Chinese imports of US goods came quickly after the retaliatory imposition of tariffs, the data show.

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