Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

The U.S., Not China, Is the Real Currency Manipulator

The U.S., Not China, Is the Real Currency Manipulator

Members of President Trump's economic team are continuing high level talks with Chinese officials in the hopes of reaching a trade agreement ahead of a deadline for USA tariff hikes.

Beijing and Washington officials are holding high-level talks on Thursday and Friday in the U.S. capital to discuss each other's demands over trade.

One Chinese official familiar with the situation said: "It can be said that we are now in the sprint phase, and both negotiating teams are working towards the goal of reaching an agreement within the deadline, but some problems are still quite complicated to resolve".

Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that the two sides are starting to sketch out an agreement on structural issues, drafting language for six memorandums of understanding on proposed Chinese reforms.

Trump is threatening higher tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to make Chinese President Xi Jinping more pliable.

The question of technology transfers and protection for USA intellectual property has been one of the most contentious in the dispute, with the US accusing China of stealing the results of US research and development to get advance its own development, and also of forcing US firms to give their technology to Chinese companies to gain access to China's market.

So far, the U.S. have applied tariffs on $250billion worth of Chinese goods.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed for China to open its financial services markets to more foreign firms, including credit card giants Visa and MasterCard, which have waited years for China to make good on promises to allow them to operate there. As part of the standoff Washington imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports.

The two sides were discussing an enforcement mechanism for the deal, the source said.

The trade war between the United States and China was launched by Mr Trump on July 2018, when the U.S. slapped sweeping tariffs on Beijing after accusing the country of unfair trade practices - including intellectual theft.

If a deal is not be in place by then, the tariffs issued in the past seven-month long trade war will return. The White House also plans to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Trump said on Tuesday he thought China had an incentive to move swiftly. Last week, Lighthizer told Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the two sides "made headway on very, very important and hard issues".

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