China and USA to hold trade talks in Beijing next week

07 January, 2019, 07:40 | Author: Emmett Rice
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U.S. trade negotiators will "optimistically and constructively communicate with (the) Chinese delegation on the important agreements achieved by the two leaders during the meeting in Argentina", China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement, without giving further details.

The Trump administration and China are facing growing pressure to blink in their six-month stare-down over trade because of jittery markets and portents of economic weakness.

The two days of talks are aimed at carrying out last month's agreement by US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to postpone new tariff hikes, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.

A USA delegation will visit China next week to participate in vice-ministerial level trade talks that have been ongoing since early 2018, it was announced here on Friday.

That agreement saw China commit to renewed purchases of U.S. agricultural goods like soybeans, in return for the delay of a fresh swathe of tariffs Washington was set to impose on Chinese goods.

Trump said earlier in the week that talks between the two were heading in the right direction, after a positive phone conversation. "There are a heck of a lot of USA companies that have sales in China that are going to be watching their earnings being downgraded next year until we get a deal with China".

U.S. access to China to do business has been one of the key sticking points of the two countries' trade relationship, and President Trump has explicitly criticised the Made in China plan previously.

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USTR said the U.S. delegation would also include under secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

"I will tell you China's not doing well now and it puts us in a very strong position".

Trump temporarily suspended the planned increase in tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on Chinese goods worth $200 billion with a warning he would go ahead with the plan if a trade agreement was not sealed before the 90-day deadline.

Word of the meeting follows small signs of progress - and the absence of new threats from Trump - while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.

China's economy is slowing.

That announcement rocked markets Thursday, but global stocks have bounced back after news of the fresh talks, with futures pointing to a 1% or more gain for all three major USA indexes later in the day.

The risks to both economies have intensified since the last round of tit-for-tat tariffs in September.

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