United States pushes China on promises after `in-depth' trade meetings

  • United States pushes China on promises after `in-depth' trade meetings

United States pushes China on promises after `in-depth' trade meetings

China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for U.S. companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

"The talks also focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States", the statement, released by the Office of the US Trade Representative, said.

In a statement that gave no specific details on the outcome of three days of talks in China's capital this week, USTR said that USA and Chinese officials discussed "ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations".

The discussions "went just fine", he said without elaborating, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

They agreed to maintain close contact, the statement said.

But they extended past their deadline, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry said signified that both sides were "very serious about these negotiations".

The U.S.is looking to crack down on China's business practices, including allegations of technology theft along with slashing the trade deficit and getting more access to Chinese markets. It is the first time that officials have met for face-to-face talks since President Trump and President Xi agreed a 90-day ceasefire in December.

President Trump has said if no deal is reached before the truce expires on March 2, he will increase duties on $200bn worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of US farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets. The escalating trade war raised concerns in China as its economy was on the downward trend amid efforts by the government to rejig the export-dependent economy to that of relying more on domestic consumption.

The current trade round coincided with an unannounced visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks with Xi in Beijing ahead of a possible second meeting between Kim and Trump. In recent weeks, China has showed some signs of flexibility or acceding to the American demands.

A reduction in Chinese imports of US goods came quickly after the retaliatory imposition of tariffs, the data show. Exports of Chinese goods to Russian Federation increased 12 percent and amounted to $43.45 billion, while Russia's sales to China surged 44.3 percent to $53.78 billion. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to USA demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

According to the latest data by China's customs administration, trade turnover between the neighboring states grew 27.8 percent from January through November 2018 compared to the same period in the previous year, and totaled $97.23 billion. The US goods trade deficit with China was Dollars 375.6 billion in 2017.