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China says USA trade talks 'laid foundation' to resolve concerns

10 January, 2019, 10:54 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the U.S.

U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney is chased by journalists as he walks into a hotel after a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

In a brief statement issued today, China's commerce ministry put an optimistic spin on the talks, declaring there has been "broad, deep and meticulous discussions on shared observations on trade issues and structural problems, laying the foundation for addressing areas of common concern".

Companies in both the United States and China are feeling the pain from the effects of the U.S.

Stock markets were roiled last week after Apple (APPL) warned it will badly miss its quarterly sales forecast because of weaker growth in China amid the trade war.

US 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.

Six months after Trump first slapped tariffs on Chinese goods, signs are growing that the trade war is exacting an economic and financial cost, increasing the incentive for both sides to end the conflict.

Some 40 days into the 90-day truce, there were few concrete details on progress made so far. Chinese traders and refiners are still cautious about buying USA crude until the trade problems between the world's two biggest economies are resolved, but if they are, chances are US crude exports would get an additional boost.

"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", USTR said.

In what was widely seen as a goodwill gesture, China on Tuesday issued long-awaited approvals for the import of five genetically modified crops, which could boost its purchases of US grains as farmers decide which crops to plant in the spring.

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If no deal is reached by March 2, Trump has said he will proceed with raising tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at a time when China's economy is slowing significantly. Xi promised to fix the trade imbalance issue with the United States by starting to purchase U.S. agricultural products.

The deputy level negotiators will report back on next steps for talks, the United States statement said.

"Both sides agreed to keep in close contact", the statement said. They have tried to defuse pressure for more sweeping change by offering trade concessions including purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports. Buying had slumped after China imposed a 25 per cent import duty on USA shipments of oilseed on July 6 in response to U.S. tariffs.

Beijing has offered concessions on investment regulations and stepping up purchases of American soybeans, natural gas and other exports, seeking to defuse complaints from the USA and other trading partners.

That added to advances since last week in equity markets around the world, following a strong US employment report and comments from the Federal Reserve chief that calmed worries USA interest rate hikes would hurt growth.

A senior Chinese official said Beijing plans to introduce policies to boost domestic spending on items such as autos and home appliances this year.

The Trump administration wants Beijing to abandon its strategy of seeking global industrial predominance through the alleged theft and forced transfer of American technology as well as massive state intervention in markets.

Officials discussed the need for any deal to include "ongoing verification and effective enforcement". Over the past two days, talks have been under way between the USA and China to find a way to end the conflict.

The group also urged the removal of USA tariffs when China delivers on its promises.

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