Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

China Trade Talks End Amid Optimism

China Trade Talks End Amid Optimism

Neither side has said when the two countries will meet again for further negotiations.

The two sides will keep in close contact, it added.

No schedule for further face-to-face negotiations was released after the talks, and USTR said the American delegation was returning to Washington to report on the meetings and "to receive guidance on the next steps". President Donald Trump and his deputies have criticized China for failing to live up to past promises, including a pledge to promptly open up the Asian nation's economy to more trade and investment after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

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. Stocks rose globally after the two economic powers appeared to inch closer to an agreement, with the S&P 500 Index rising for a fourth day to the highest in nearly a month. Without a breakthrough in talks, US corporations are likely to experience a deepening decline in their Chinese sales, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts even seeing an "informal boycott" in place.

USA stocks surged Wednesday on optimism that the midlevel talks in Beijing will be followed up with discussions between higher-ranking US and Chinese officials.

The temporary trade-war ceasefire came after the two sides imposed import duties on more than $300 billion of each other's goods. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to USA demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.


In addition to the large trade deficit, the United States has long complained about such structural issues.

As evidence mounts by the day that the slowdown in China's economy is worsening, policy makers in Beijing are focusing on getting rid of the duties that Trump has leveled on Chinese goods since a year ago, according to a former high-level official briefed on the government's thinking.

Washington wants Beijing to change its plans to use government support to make Chinese companies world leaders in robotics and advanced technologies. -China Business Council said in a statement. USA officials appear to want to maintain the pressure of tariffs, the official said.

The USTR statement didn't say whether progress had been achieved on its main concerns. "And China going forward will likely still want to increase the diversification of its sources of supply even for agricultural commodities".

But if the countries fail to reach a deal by March 2, Trump has threatened to restart the trade war, increasing tariffs on 200 billion dollars-worth of Chinese imports from ten to twenty-five percent. They include changes to China's policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and other non-tariff barriers to trade.

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