Thursday, 17 January, 2019

China trade talks conclude as hopes of a deal build

G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires Latest US-China Trade Talks Focus on China’s Pledge to Buy More US Goods – USTR
Orlando Vargas | 10 January, 2019, 09:40

A second day of trade dispute talks between the US and China ended Tuesday without word of any progress, as an official newspaper warned not to push Beijing too hard.

This week's meetings are the first face-to-face talks since Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.

"The talks also focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States", the statement, released by the Office of the US Trade Representative, said.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce issued a statement saying the two sides had "detailed exchanges" and would "maintain close contact" but gave no details.

Negotiations between US and Chinese trade officials, which began Monday in the Commerce Ministry in Beijing, finally concluded on Wednesday as both sides sought to inch closer to an understanding on a number of disagreements.

It added the two countries discussed "ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations",.as well as issues related to intellectual property protection.

Trump said late Tuesday on Twitter that the talks were "going very well!".

Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.

The global economy has been suffering from the chilling effect of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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China is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States but will not make any "unreasonable concessions" and any agreement must involve compromise on both sides, the China Daily, a state newspaper, said on Wednesday.

"Dovish Fed minutes and positive developments out from the U.S". On Tuesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose more than 2% and Japan's Nikkei more than 1%. "If the results of the talks are positive, it would be beneficial for both China and the United States and good news for the global economy". It's a tight window in which to nail down deep changes to China's economic model, some of which past USA administrations advocated for years and US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support.

The OPEC-led cuts, which officially began in January, are aimed at reining in an emerging glut as USA crude output C-OUT-T-EIA has surged to a record 11.7 million bpd.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "While there was agreement on less thorny issues such as agriculture and energy, US demands for verification and enforceable targets on intellectual property rights, transfer of technologies and non-tariff barriers may not be that easily addressed", DBS Group Research strategists Eugene Leow and Neel Gopalakrishnan said in a commentary.

US President Donald Trump tweeted that they were "going really well!"

The Communist country has been hit with an economic slowdown and its vehicle sales have dropped 19 percent last month from the year before, the steepest decline in China in almost three decades.

Later this month, Lighthizer is expected to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, Xi's top economic aide who is leading negotiations for China. But if a deal doesn't happen, remember, "I am a Tariff Man", Trump said. "The two sides are in serious talks and working hard to solve the disagreements between them". The American delegation is led by a deputy US trade representative, Jeffrey D. Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials. Those include subsidies and other favors for high-tech and state-owned industry, rules on technology licensing and preferential treatment of domestic suppliers in government procurement.

U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney walks into a hotel after a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

On Monday, Chinese importers made another large purchase of US soybeans, their third in the past month.

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