Trade Regulations

High-level talks between the US and China begin amid tense atmosphere

Oct, 08, 2019 Posted by Sylvia Schandert

Week 201942

US and Chinese trade negotiators have begun a new round of negotiations on Monday, October 7, aimed at resolving the 15-month-long trade war between the two countries, with neither side showing signs of giving in.

About 30 Chinese officials, led by Deputy Finance Minister Liao Min, arrived at the US Trade Representative’s office on Monday morning for two days of talks, which will be followed by the first ministerial-level meeting in more than two months.

The White House has officially confirmed that high-level talks involving Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will begin on Thursday.

“Both sides will seek to move forward from the ministerial-level negotiations in recent weeks. Topics of discussion will include forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, and enforcement,” said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham in a statement.

Negotiations take place about a week before a scheduled US tariff increase of US$250bn in Chinese goods from 25% to 30%. US President Donald Trump said the tariff hike will take effect if there is no progress in the negotiations.

Both sides are in disagreement on the US demands for China improve US intellectual property protections, end data theft and forced technology transfer to Chinese companies, reduce industrial subsidies, and increase access to US companies to Chinese markets, which are largely closed.

Trump announced a new round of tariffs after the latest high-level negotiations in late July were unsuccessful in securing agricultural purchases or making progress on substantive issues.

Source: Reuters

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