China trade talks conclude as hopes of a deal build
10 January, 2019, 08:54 | Author: Eric Barnett
A member of the US trade delegation to China, carries a folder as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, Jan. 7, 2019.
Three days of U.S.
Speaking at a daily news briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed both sides had agreed to extend the talks beyond Monday and Tuesday as originally scheduled.
Officials say talks are expected to deliver specific commitments to expand market access for U.S. in China, improve protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduce the trade surplus with the USA, but it would take time to reform state-owned firms another major source of friction.
Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to Dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well".
China and the USA "conducted extensive, in-depth and meticulous exchanges on trade issues and structural issues of common concern, which enhanced mutual understanding and laid the foundation for resolving issues of mutual concerns", the commerce ministry said in a statement. Lu said he had no details and an official statement would be issued later. But if a deal doesn't happen, remember, "I am a Tariff Man", Trump said.
There has been some indication of Chinese moves to address concerns regarding forced technology transfer, including recently proposed legislation that would bar local governments from forcing foreign firms to transfer technology or illegally restrict market access. Over dinner in Argentina last month, Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day tariff truce so that negotiations could take place.
Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.
The trade war has seen both sides impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods from each other.
China's economy was more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade war, he said.
As the trade talks wound down, China's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, met with CEO Elon Musk of electric-car maker Tesla.
How did we get here?
Oil also caught investors' attention after U.S. crude and Brent jumped overnight, helped by optimism over easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support.
Beijing has tried to defuse pressure from its trading partners for more sweeping changes by offering concessions on investment regulations and stepping up purchases of American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.
There was no immediate USA response to the Chinese complaint.
The US released a statement on the meetings, alluding to at least one potential concrete commitment on the part of China.
With cooling economic growth raising the urgency for a settlement, this week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on US charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.
For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with USA curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications.
The meeting between the US delegation - led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and including officials from the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy Departments - and the Chinese side ran late into Tuesday night.
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The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 per cent in the third quarter and unemployment is at a five-decade low. The talks went one day longer than planned, which showed that both sides are serious about negotiations, Lu added.
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