What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

Irving Hamilton
January 10, 2019

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

The two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings, which took place January 7 to January 9.

They agreed to maintain close contact, the statement said.

Over the past two days, talks have been under way between the U.S. and China to find a way to end the conflict.

"Negotiations between the two sides in this area made progress", he said.

"The Chinese side also believes that the implementation mechanism of any agreement is very important and both parties have an obligation to carry it out", Gao told reporters during a regular press conference.

Some degree of optimism followed a U.S. trade delegation home from Beijing on Wednesday, after the most comprehensive trade negotiations held yet between the world's two largest economies since a tit-for-tat tariff battle ensued past year.

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 previous year, according to a former high-level official briefed on the government's thinking.

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China said talks with the United States "laid the foundations" to resolve a damaging trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The 90-day time frame is a tight window in which to nail down deep changes to China's economic model, reforms which past US administrations advocated for years and USA lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support.

In addition to the large trade deficit, the USA has long complained about such structural issues. They include changes to China's policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and other non-tariff barriers to trade. The council and other USA business groups have pressed for a resolution to the trade hostilities between the world's two biggest economies.

The talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since their leaders met on December 1.

The U.S. team in Beijing was led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, and included under secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from the White House. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 8% since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month.

A reduction in Chinese imports of US goods came quickly after the retaliatory imposition of tariffs, the data show. "And China going forward will likely still want to increase the diversification of its sources of supply even for agricultural commodities".

She added that the Trump administration's complaint that China is stealing USA intellectual property is "top of mind" in the negotiations with Beijing.

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