China and US to Hold Trade Talks in Beijing Next Week

Hugh Fox
January 8, 2019

The decision to hold this week's talks at a deputy minister level reflects the need to work out technical details before higher-level officials make "hard political decisions on major issues", said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Trump has said talks toward a deal are progressing well, but it was unclear if Beijing will yield to key U.S. demands over trade imbalances, market access, and alleged Chinese abuses of intellectual property.

Now China and the United States face a key March deadline for talks to end the damaging trade war, or Washington could proceed with a sharp hike in USA tariffs on Chinese goods originally set for January 1 and Beijing could retaliate.

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Washington delegation and will discuss "implementing the important consensus" reached by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina previous year, China´s commerce ministry said. In the meantime we are doing well in various Trade Negotiations now going on.

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The US and China on Friday confirmed that they will hold discussions over future trade between the two nations next week, the first such talks since a tentative truce was reached at November's G20 summit in Argentina.

U.S. access to China to do business has been one of the key sticking points of the two countries' trade relationship, and President Trump has explicitly criticised the Made in China plan previously.

U.S. and China have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of goods in total two-way trade.

After the discussions between United States and China at Buenos Aires to remove the stalemate surrounding trade tariffs, China has expressed willingness to work with its beleaguered trade partner.

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Trade representativesfrom the USA and China to hold talks Jan 7, according to the Wall Street Journal. There are fears of both sides hiking tariffs if no deal is reached.

Growth is expected by the government to have eased to around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017. Some U.S. demands would require structural reform that may be unpalatable for Chinese leaders.

The makeup of the USA team was announced Friday by the trade representative's office.

The Commerce Ministry confirmed that Gerrish would lead the USA delegation at the talks.

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Chinese officials are unhappy with United States curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications. But that was due partly to exporters rushing to beat new duties - a trend that is fading.

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