China says trade talks with U.S. set foundation to resolve concerns

10 January, 2019, 10:59 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • US and China wrap up trade talks in Beijing. What happens next?

Stocks rose across Asia and Europe, and equity futures indicated an increase in the United States on Wednesday, on signs the world's two largest economies are trying to resolve their trade war. President Xi Jinping responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

There were few concrete details on the meetings in Beijing, which were not at a ministerial level, so were not expected to produce a deal to end the trade war.

As the talks began Monday at the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Beijing complained about a USA warship in what it said were Chinese waters, but it was unclear whether that would disrupt the proceedings.

They agreed to maintain close contact, the statement said. But aside from some soybean purchases, there has been little sign of big-ticket acquisitions. Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Word of progress briefly drove USA stocks higher in early morning trading but major indices soon pared much of those gains. USA and North Korean officials are believed to have met in Vietnam to discuss a location.

Some analysts say that China - Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade - could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the U.S. trade talks. The issues at play have soured the wider U.S. -Chinese relations for years.

America is seeking assurances that China will buy more products from the order to reduce the trade deficit, and it wants a fairer playing field for USA companies that do business inside China, NPR has reported.

However, if no deal is reached by March 2, Trump is prepared to hike tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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 two delegations were led by United States deputy trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish and China's vice-minister of commerce, Wang Shouwen.

The paper said in an editorial that the dispute harms both countries and disrupts the global trade order and supply chains.

On Wednesday, a clutch of Fed officials said they would be cautious about any further increases in interest rates so the central bank could assess growing risks to an otherwise-solid US economic outlook.

One of the biggest challenges to any deal would be to ensure that China enforces whatever is agreed to stop technology transfers, intellectual property theft and hacking.

"Officials discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement", the USTR said. "We expect something will come out of this".

"I am looking for Liu He to go to Washington after this round of talks - the timing is actually very critical for the markets", said Iris Pang, China economist from ING Bank.

Still, the US 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 USA frustration that the Chinese have failed to live up to past commitments.

The talks were originally planned for Monday and Tuesday but were extended into Wednesday.

Companies in both countries are feeling the pain from the effects of the trade dispute. Apple Inc. cut its revenue outlook last week as sales of the iPhone were slower than expected in China, while data on factory activity and retail sales in the Asian nation were also weak.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang at a daily news briefing on January 9, 2019.


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