US negotiators in Beijing for trade war talks

Posted January 08, 2019

U.S. and Chinese negotiators on Monday held their first face-to-face talks since the world's two largest economies agreed to a truce aimed at resolving their trade dispute.

The talks have come a month after Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to suspend a tariff hike for three months to give negotiators space to reach an agreement and end a dispute that has roiled world markets.

Last year, Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods, with China retaliating with its own tariff increases on $110 billion of USA exports.

A US Navy vessel, USS "McCampbell, ' has sailed past disputed islets of the South China Sea in a 'freedom of navigation" operation.

China and the United States want to work together on trade, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday, as the world's two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute, Trend reports referring to Reuters.

"I think we will make a deal with China", Trump said on Friday.

On Jan. 4, Trump told reporters at the White House that he's optimistic about the talks. Ahead of the midterms, Beijing attempted to sway voters in those states by running advertorials depicting the USA trade tariffs negatively in a major Iowa newspaper.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the conduct of the United States ship had violated China's and worldwide law, and China had lodged "stern representations".

But observers fear the time constraints and substantial range of prickly issues, including those Beijing considers core to its development, will make it hard to reach a deal. They criticize his tactics but echo US complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers.

Wang is expected to lead China's team to the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland. Back then, the two leaders announced a 90-day truce on new tariffs, which is set to expire on March 1. 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.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish is leading the American delegation, which includes the top U.S. trade negotiator on agricultural issues, Gregg Doud; Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass; Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan; Agriculture Department Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs Ted McKinney; the Energy Department's assistant secretary for fossil energy, Steven Winberg; and other senior officials. The economy needs certainty.

Chinese officials have said new measures will combat intellectual property theft, indicating that Beijing may make major changes to its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which calls for state-led creation of champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.

"China's economy is significantly slowing down, and the USA stock market is declining quickly". Both Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the Paracel Islands, and the US has contended that its ships passed through only worldwide waters, which Chinese officials refuted.

Xiang Songzuo, an economist at China's Renmin University, delivered a speech on December 16, 2018, in which he cited reports concluding that China's GDP growth was very low, or even shrinking. It said the threat of higher USA tariffs was the "dominating factor" for almost half, while others moved due to higher costs or tighter environmental regulation.