Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

China and U.S. to hold trade talks in Beijing

China and U.S. to hold trade talks in Beijing

At a summit in Argentina late a year ago, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days while they attempted to negotiate a deal.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead a working-level team to China next week for the first round of face-to-face trade talks.

The US and China have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300bn worth of goods in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits and contributed to stock market plunges.

The talks are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive - Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou - in Canada on USA charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

China's leaders have offered to narrow its politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more soybeans, natural gas, and other American exports.

Other administration officials at the talks will include Mr Gregg Doud, the US Trade Representative's chief agricultural negotiator, and Mr David Malpass, the Treasury Department's Undersecretary for International Affairs, said the sources.

The manufacturing sectors in both countries have been hit by the trade dispute, and Apple shares dropped sharply after reporting steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in the last quarter in China - one of its largest overseas markets.

In December, Beijing´s commerce ministry said China and the U.S. "made new progress" on the issues of trade balance and intellectual property -one of the main sticking points of the trade dispute - during a phone call between officials from the two countries.

A United States delegation will visit China next week for talks aimed at defusing the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The spat has rattled companies and financial markets that worry it would drag on global economic growth that is showing signs of slowing.

Since the Xi-Trump meeting, China has adopted several goodwill measures including cutting tariffs on vehicles imported from the U.S., resuming the purchase of soya beans from the country and submitting a draft law to prohibit forced technology transfers.

Chinese officials are unhappy with U.S. curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications. An escalating trade war would make the situation even worse.

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