US-China trade talks kick off in Beijing as March deadline looms; Donald Trump open to extending truce

Expectations for a trade deal have grown as China faces pressure from slowing economic growth and swooning global markets rattle Trump and his economic advisors.

Agence France-Presse February 14, 2019 17:39:41 IST
US-China trade talks kick off in Beijing as March deadline looms; Donald Trump open to extending truce
  • US and Chinese negotiators are set to kick off two days of official trade talks in Beijing on Thursday

  • Pressure to seal an accord ahead of a March deadline lessened as Donald Trump said that he was open to extending a trade truce

  • Expectations for a trade deal have grown as China faces pressure from slowing economic growth

Beijing: US and Chinese negotiators are set to kick off two days of official trade talks in Beijing on Thursday as the world's top two economies try to patch up their festering economic dispute.

Pressure to seal an accord ahead of a March deadline lessened before the talks as US president Donald Trump indicated on Tuesday in Washington that he was open to extending a trade truce, depending on progress in Beijing.

USChina trade talks kick off in Beijing as March deadline looms Donald Trump open to extending truce

Representational image. Reuters

Trump in December put on hold sharp tariff hikes on $200 billion of Chinese imports to allow time for negotiators to work out a resolution to the thorny spat. The two countries have already slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which has weighed on their manufacturing sectors and shaken global financial markets.

US officials including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with China's top economic czar Liu He and central bank governor Yi Gang as the two sides aim to build on progress made in Washington last month. Lower level officials arrived earlier for what the White House called preparatory meetings starting Monday.

Expectations for a trade deal have grown as China faces pressure from slowing economic growth and swooning global markets rattle Trump and his economic advisors.

Chinese president Xi Jinping plans to meet with top US officials in Beijing this week, a report in the South China Morning Post said on Wednesday, bolstering hopes for the talks and markets in Asia. Trump also said he expects to meet with Xi "at some point" to clinch a trade deal.

"Markets will continue to watch — and react — closely to the ups and downs of the negotiations," said Trey McArver of Trivium Research. "But China-US relations are all about the two leaders, and it will ultimately be up to Xi and Trump to come to a deal — or not," he wrote Wednesday in a newsletter.

The two sides said major progress was made in talks last month in Washington, but a wide gulf remains on some issues.

The US is demanding far-reaching changes to Chinese practises that it says are unfair, including theft of US technology and intellectual property, and myriad barriers that foreign companies face in the Chinese domestic market. Beijing has offered to boost its purchases of US goods, but is widely expected to resist calls for major changes to its industrial policies such as slashing government subsidies.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday of a possible global economic "storm" as world growth forecasts dip, citing the US-China trade row as a key pivot point.

Updated Date:

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.

also read

'Racist, not up to job': Michelle Obama launches scathing attack on Donald Trump ahead of November's presidential polls
World

'Racist, not up to job': Michelle Obama launches scathing attack on Donald Trump ahead of November's presidential polls

Pitching for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, the former first lady made an impassioned plea through a 24-minute video, saying that the country is in chaos and the voters should know what is at stake

Chinese envoy warns Canada against granting asylum to pro-democracy protestors from Hong Kong
World

Chinese envoy warns Canada against granting asylum to pro-democracy protestors from Hong Kong

Ambassador Cong Peiwu said that if Ottawa cares about the 3,00,000 Canadians in Hong Kong, it should support the government’s ‘efforts to fight violent crimes’

China joins coronavirus vaccine alliance; signs agreement with GAVI after missing September deadline
World

China joins coronavirus vaccine alliance; signs agreement with GAVI after missing September deadline

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the step has been taken to ensure ‘equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries’