Trump says US-China trade talks 'going well'

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A 90-day truce in the trade war was declared in December and is set to expire in a month, after which USA tariffs on $200 billion (€174 billion) of Chinese imports would more than double, something that economists say could have a negative impact on the world economy. While trade wonks don't expect major breakthroughs, the hope is the two sides will at least keep talking after President Donald Trump agreed in December to postpone a steep hike in tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement can not be reached.

He says: "All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved".

Washington also doesn't like that Beijing subsidizes its tech industry as part of its "Belt and Road" initiative to become the world's leader in critical sectors, such as artificial intelligence and robotics. China's economy was slowing even before the USA tariffs began depressing demand for its exports, so the trade war is making a hard situation worse for Xi.

The United States has accused China of hiding some trade-distorting subsidy programs from global scrutiny while disclosing others it does not need to, according to a document circulated on Wednesday at the World Trade Organization.

By March 1, China may commit to opening its market significantly to US products, especially in the agricultural sector and delivering foreign investment reform that ends forced technology transfer, she said.


Trump said any deal must include China opening its market to US financial institutions, manufacturing and agriculture as well as other unspecified "businesses and industries".

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Hu and Beijing officials are discussing disputes over intellectual property rights and drugs with Trump's top economic and trade aides. "Any deal that does not include China opening its markets for manufacturing and agricultural products to US producers will be" unacceptable", the president wrote.

People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang declined comment on Chinese proposals as he left the delegation's hotel for the meetings in Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House.

The president is seeking structural changes in China's state-led economic model as well as a major increase in the annual value of American goods purchased by Chinese customers. Should the talks fail, United States import duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports are due to more than double on March 2 - something economists say could help knock the wind out of the global economy's sails.

Ahead of his meeting with the vice premier, Trump tweeted, "China's top trade negotiators are in the USA meeting with our representatives". Should the talks fail, U.S. import duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports are due to more than double on March 2 - something economists say could help knock the wind out of the global economy's sails.

During an earlier visit by Liu a year ago, Trump declined to meet with Xi's close adviser, a slight that irritated Chinese authorities.


If a deal is not reached by March 2, US tariffs will rise from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The administration has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports; Beijing has retaliated with import taxes on $110 billion in USA goods. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own, but has suspended some and is allowing some purchases of USA soybeans during the talks.

This could maintain the threat of US tariffs on Chinese goods for the long term.

His goal in the talks is to force the Asian giant to put an end to trade policies the U.S. deems "unfair", especially the theft or forced transfer of American technology, obliging USA firms to form joint ventures with local partners, and state subsidies for industry.

Chinese officials deny that they force USA companies to transfer technology.


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