Economy

Trade war: China says USA talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute

Trade war: China says USA talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute

The United States says talks on ending a bruising trade war focused on Chinese promises to buy more American goods but gave no indication of progress on Beijing's technology ambitions and other thorny issues. That throws into doubt the possibility of a trade agreement based largely on Chinese promises to raise US imports.

The USTR statement didn't say whether progress had been achieved on its main concerns.

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.

As for structural reforms that the US side has requested: "at first, it seems like the U.S.is being overbearing, but thinking carefully, these are actually what the deepening of "opening up reforms" needs"-referring to economic policies pushed by former Party leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s that introduced capitalist market forces to China".

However, the two-day vice-ministerial talks were extended till Wednesday which China said reflected the seriousness of the negotiations.

"The risk of talks breaking down remains significant", they wrote.

The White House is making sure this go-around is different.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The potential of movement on China-U.S. trade means a moderation of extreme bearishness around the outlook for global growth", Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in an interview.

USTR also said the two sides discussed issues related to intellectual property protections and the need for any agreement to include "complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement".

Beijing has tried to mollify Washington and other trading partners by promising to buy more imports and open its industries wider to foreign competitors.

Did not know Manafort shared campaign data with Russian partner, claims Trump
Since Robert Mueller made this a sticking point in seeking to overturn Manafort's plea deal, the answer thus far seems to be no. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russian Federation and criticized Mueller's ongoing probe as a "witch hunt".

The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap - a sticking point for USA president - and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market.

Interestingly, while officially this was a vice minister-level dialogue, China's top man for the trade negotiations, Vice Premier Liu He, made an appearance anyway.

That enthusiasm was wearing thin Thursday.

The benchmark S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent to 2,550 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index jumped 1.3 per cent to 6,823 - but retreated from their intraday highs. Economists say the 90-day window is too short to resolve all the conflicts between the biggest and second-biggest global economies.

China and the United States have in the past repeatedly traded barbs over what Washington says is Beijing's militarization of the South China Sea by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs. "That is very positive".

While Chinese goods going to the USA initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data. Forecasters expect American orders to slump this year. China responded by targeting USA goods valued at $110 billion, the BBC reported.

"I really believe they want to make a deal".

But on January 10, China's state-run media provided a hint that the regime could be ready to concede to USA demands.

"Listen, I think in the end markets are not really going to care very much about the details of any deal that's struck as long as a deal is struck and directionally looks like we are going toward deescalation rather than escalation", said Jimmy Pethokoukis, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


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