U.S.' Mnuchin expects progress in 'complicated' China trade talks
By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the United States expects significant progress this week in trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, but the two sides will be tackling 'complicated issues', including how to enforce any deal.
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the United States expects significant progress this week in trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, but the two sides will be tackling "complicated issues", including how to enforce any deal.
The talks, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, will include a meeting between Liu and U.S. President Donald Trump and take place amid worsening tensions between the world's two largest economies.
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday unsealed indictments against China's top telecommunications equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co, accusing it of bank and wire fraud to evade Iran sanctions and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.
China, meanwhile, formally challenged U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement system, calling the duties a "blatant breach" of Washington's WTO obligations.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted at a news conference that the Huawei indictments are "law enforcement actions and are wholly separate from our trade negotiations with China."
The Huawei indictment came as a Chinese delegation including Liu and Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen was already in Washington preparing for the talks, a person familiar with the discussions said.
Mnuchin, speaking at a White House news conference, said the two sides were trying to tackle "complicated issues," including a way to verify enforcement of China's reform progress in any deal with Beijing.
The Treasury chief, who will be among the top U.S. officials at the negotiating table, said Chinese officials had acknowledged the need for such a verification mechanism.
"We want to make sure that when we get a deal, that deal will be enforced," Mnuchin said. "The details of how we do that are very complicated. That needs to be negotiated. But IP (intellectual property) protection, no more forced joint ventures, and enforcement are three of the most important issues on the agenda."
Reuters reported earlier this month that U.S. officials were demanding regular reviews of China's progress on pledged trade reforms, which would maintain the threat of tariffs long term.
Mnuchin added that there had been "significant movement" in the talks so far, and there will be around 30 days for further negotiations after the meetings in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday to reach an agreement before a March 2 deadline for increasing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
Mounting concerns for both countries, including China's slowing economy and Trump's need for a political win, could prod both sides towards a "partial, interim deal," said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University trade professor and former head of the International Monetary Fund's China department.
"There remains a vast distance separating the negotiating positions of the two sides, making a comprehensive and durable deal unlikely," Prasad said.
China is unlikely to give much ground on industrial policy and state support for industries, but it could promise to improve intellectual property protections and enforcement. However, persuading U.S. negotiators that these can be verified will be a "hard sell," Prasad added.
The White House said that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would lead the talks for the American side, with participation from Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro.
It said the meetings will take place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Steve Holland; additional reporting by Chris Prentice, David Shepardson and Makini Brice; editing by James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son