US To Resume Trade Talks With China In Washington

Channels Television  
Updated February 19, 2019
(From L) US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Chinese Vice Premier and lead trade negotiator Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talk before the opening session of trade negotiations at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on February 14, 2019.  AFP


US-China trade talks aimed at ending a damaging tariff war will resume from Tuesday in Washington, the White House said.

The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal, though US President Donald Trump said discussions were going “extremely well” and suggested he could extend a March 1 truce deadline for an agreement to be reached.

The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday, said a White House statement issued Monday.

For the US, the talks will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, economic policy advisor Larry Kudlow, and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

China’s commerce ministry meanwhile announced it would be represented by Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s top trade negotiator and key aide to President Xi Jinping, who agreed to a trade war truce with Trump at a meeting in Buenos Aires in December.

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“We hope China and the US will both work hard together to implement the important consensus reached by our two heads of state in Argentina, get down to work, and walk together in the same direction towards a mutually acceptable and mutually beneficial agreement,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Tuesday.

On Friday, Trump reiterated he might be willing to hold off on increasing tariffs to 25 percent from the current 10 percent on March 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods if Washington and Beijing are close to finalizing an agreement to deal with US complaints about unfair trade and theft of American technology.

American officials accuse Beijing of seeking global industrial predominance through an array of unfair trade practices, including the alleged theft of American intellectual property and massive state intervention in commodities markets.

Since the December detente, China has resumed purchases of some US soybeans and dangled massive buying of American commodities to get US trade negotiators closer to a deal.

The talks are aimed at “achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China,” Monday’s statement said.

“The two sides will also discuss China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of goods and services from the United States.”

Beijing and Washington have imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which are weighing on their manufacturing sectors and have shaken global financial markets.