Saturday, 19 January, 2019

With more tariffs, US-China trade outlook looks grim, says data

What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks? US says China has pledged to buy US as tough issues remain
Laurie Berry | 10 January, 2019, 20:29

Recent reports have claimed negotiators on both sides are making progress as mid-level talks continue in Beijing.

USA stocks opened higher on hopes of progress toward a deal to avert an all-out trade war between the world's two largest economies, but pared gains slightly after the USTR statement was released.

Meanwhile, confirming the conclusion of the trade talks, China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that "the extension of the talks indicates that both sides are serious about this consultation".

China and the USA will move ahead with trade talks as scheduled, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing at a regular weekly briefing Thursday, without giving any further details over when they would take place. 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.

Still, the USA statement said the negotiations dealt with the need for any deal with China to be "subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement" - a comment that reflects US frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments. Stocks rose globally after the two economic powers appeared to inch closer to an agreement, with the S&P 500 Index rising for a fourth day to the highest in nearly a month.

People familiar with the U.S.

And the US says China has agreed to buy substantially more American goods.

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Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen headed the vice ministerial level talks for China, though Vice Premier Liu He, a top economic adviser to Xi, made an appearance at a meeting on Monday.

The USTR also said the negotiations "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 negotiations were extended from the two days initially scheduled, according to the Chinese.

Washington wants Beijing to change its plans to use government support to make Chinese companies world leaders in robotics and advanced technologies. USA officials appear to want to maintain the pressure of tariffs, the official said.

"I don't know the timing and exactly what that will look like, but what I can be sure of is that we are moving towards a more balanced and reciprocal trade agreement with China".

"Talks with China are going very well!". The council and other US business groups have pressed for a resolution to the trade hostilities between the world's two biggest economies.

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. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based worldwide order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise".

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