Daily Management Review

Trade Talks Making Progress, Says China’s Xi Progress


Trade Talks Making Progress, Says China’s Xi Progress
There has been important progress in the trade talks between the United States and China, said the Chinese president Xi Jinping while talking to trade representatives from the US and added that the talks negotiations would continue further next week in Washington in an effort to resolve the ongoing trade war between the two largest economies of the world.
Following a week of trade negotiations at senior and deputy levels of the two countries in Beijing, Xi made these comments while meeting up with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, reported the state media. It also added that Xi also called for an acceptable deal for both sides.
If there is no deal between the two parties before March 1, US tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion would see an increase in duties from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. The tit-for-tat tariffs had been initiated by the US in the middle of last year as a means to resolve the trade deficit that it has with China and to force china to rectify what the US called were unfair trade practices including on issues such as intellectual property rights and forced technology transfers through joint ventures.
He and Lighthizer had held “productive meetings” with Xi’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He, said Mnuchin after the end of the negotiations on Thursday.
“The consultations between the two sides’ teams achieved important step-by-step progress,” Xi said, according to state television.
“Next week, both sides will meet again in Washington. I hope you will continue efforts to advance reaching a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement,” Xi said during a meeting at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. There is willingness among the Chinese to adopt a “cooperative approach” in the path to resolving the issues with US in bilateral trade, he added.
The senior officials had “two very good days” of talks, Lighthizer told Xi.
“We feel that we have made headway on very, very important, and very difficult issues. We have additional work to do but we are hopeful,” Lighthizer said, according to a foreign media pool video.
There is however no details available about how the two countries are planning to end the trade friction which has created a huge uncertainty over global trade and global markets and has already taken a toll on the global supply chains of large companies – especially with respect to their supply chain in Asia.
It would be possible to further extend the tariffs deadline if there was a chance of a “real deal”, US president Donald Trump has said this week. But no such decision had been taken by the White House, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, has said.
However according to media reports about the recently concluded trade negotiations, there is little indication that any major breakthrough has been made by the negotiators on some of the more contentious issues between the two countries which is crucial for the two countries to create a base for a possible meeting between Xi and Trump to finalize a trade deal.
“Stalemate on the important stuff,” said one of the media reports quoting sources who did not want to be named or identified. “There’s still a lot of distance between parties on structural and enforcement issues,” said another report quoting a another unnamed source. “I wouldn’t quite call it hitting a wall, but it’s not a field of dreams either.”