Thursday, June 30, 2022

US, China to hold more trade talks after ‘constructive’ meeting

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US and Chinese negotiators agreed to meet again in the United States in September after holding “frank” and “constructive” talks in Shanghai on Wednesday, state media said following meetings overshadowed by a Twitter tirade from President Donald Trump.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Vice Premier Liu He in the Chinese financial hub for the first face-to-face negotiations since a trade war truce was declared last month.

“The two sides conducted frank, highly efficient and constructive in-depth exchanges on major issues of common interest in the economic and trade field,” according to the official Xinhua news agency, adding that the purchase of US agricultural goods by China was discussed.

The White House likewise called the talks “constructive” and said on Wednesday that Chinese officials “confirmed their commitment” to buy more US farm exports, which would offer some relief to the American industry badly battered in the trade conflict.

The White House statement said the two sides also discussed central US grievances, including intellectual property rights and trade barriers other than tariffs.

“The meetings were constructive and we expect negotiations on an enforceable trade deal to continue” in Washington in early September, the statement said.

Washington and Beijing have so far hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade in a row focused on demands for China to curb the alleged theft of American technology and provide a level playing field to US companies.

The negotiators shook hands and exchanged pleasantries when they met on Wednesday morning and then held talks for around four hours behind closed doors.

The talks were relatively brief and the negotiators emerged a little earlier than expected, for a group photo before the US trade officials left for the airport without speaking to reporters.

 

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