In this file:


·         U.S.-China Trade Talks Conclude on Optimistic Note

·         China Offers Trump a Trade Peace Deal. It May Not Be Enough.

·         USTR: Statement on the United States Trade Delegation’s Meetings in Beijing



U.S.-China Trade Talks Conclude on Optimistic Note


    Negotiations end on Wednesday following one-day extension

    Signs emerge that some incremental progress was accomplished


Bloomberg News

January 9, 2019


China and the U.S. wrapped up three days of trade talks and are reportedly coordinating how to characterize the results publicly as officials from both nations expressed optimism that progress had been made.


People familiar with the discussions said positions were closer on areas including energy and agriculture but further apart on harder issues. As of 8:25 p.m. in Beijing, neither the Chinese side nor the Americans had released a statement -- a possible sign of message coordination as the U.S. delegation returned to Washington.


Stocks rose across Asia and Europe, and equity futures indicated an increase in the U.S. on Wednesday, on signs the world’s two largest economies are trying to resolve their trade war.


Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said a one-day extension in talks showed both sides are serious about the talks. Some disagreements remain on structural issues and they need to be addressed when more senior negotiators meet later on, according to Chinese officials involved in the discussions who asked not to be identified.


The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper known for its nationalist leanings, said on Twitter around 4 p.m. in Beijing that he’d heard the two sides were still consulting on the wording of coordinated statements.


China and the U.S. plan to release a message on trade talks at the same time Thursday morning in Beijing, he said later in another tweet. The talks, though arduous, were conducted in a pleasant and candid atmosphere, he said.


Later this month, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic aide who is leading negotiations for China, a person familiar with the situation said last week. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress on a deal.


The mid-level talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since their leaders met on Dec. 1. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to U.S. demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on U.S.-made cars, resuming soybean purchases...





China Offers Trump a Trade Peace Deal. It May Not Be Enough.


By Sui-Lee Wee and Keith Bradsher, The New York Times

Jan. 8, 2019


BEIJING — China is buying American soybeans again and has cut tariffs on American cars. It is offering to keep its hands off valuable corporate secrets, while also allowing foreign investors into more industries than ever before.


Beijing hopes all of that will be enough to let President Trump declare victory and end the trade war between the two largest economies. But the offer combines some real concessions, like lower tariffs, with nebulous promises, and it will be hard to ensure that China sticks to its commitments.


That could make it a tough sell in Washington. The Trump administration’s trade hawks are still pushing for a lot more, while even the doves fret that the new promises need effective enforcement to make sure that China follows through, according to people with a detailed knowledge of American policymaking.


Many American officials and businesses complain that China has long wiggled out of commitments — accusations that China denies. And the more hawkish wing of the administration contends that Beijing’s assurances have been so vague that it is hard to discern any meaningful progress, a position some analysts support.


Beijing’s effort so far adds up “to a modest adjustment of Chinese foreign economic policy,” said Scott Kennedy, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, “but nowhere close to the great leap in liberalization that the U.S. and others are seeking.”


Midlevel trade talks this week in Beijing, which will continue into Wednesday, have been productive. But if negotiators do not come to a deal in the coming weeks, the administration is poised to raise American tariffs on $200 billion a year in Chinese-made goods on March 2, amping up the trade war at a time when China faces rapidly softening growth and the American economy is facing headwinds.


It is not clear whether the moves will fully satisfy Mr. Trump...


... The White House has said China is an unfair trading partner. Its tariffs are too high, it says. It forces American companies to give up important technology to Chinese partners as a price for doing business there. It offers subsidies and cheap loans to Chinese companies that hope to compete with American companies in strategic areas like jetliners, semiconductors and electric cars.


Chinese officials dispute those claims. They say higher Chinese tariffs and strict investment limits are justified because China is still a developing country and well behind the United States in many economic respects. China’s manufacturing capabilities, they say, need upgrading for the country’s continued growth. They have consistently denied that the government allows forced technology transfers, saying some companies willingly share and make big profits in China doing so...


... On cars and soybeans, American negotiators can claim some measure of victory...


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Statement on the United States Trade Delegation’s Meetings in Beijing


Source: United States Trade Representative (USTR)



On January 7-9, an official delegation from the United States led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish held meetings in Beijing with Chinese officials to discuss ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations between our two countries. The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement. The meetings were held as part of the agreement reached by President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to engage in 90 days of negotiations with a view to achieving needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture.  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 United States officials conveyed President Trump’s commitment to addressing our persistent trade deficit and to resolving structural issues in order to improve trade between our countries.


The delegation will now report back to receive guidance on the next steps.




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