Published: Sun, December 30, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

China says meeting with U.S. on trade in January

China says meeting with U.S. on trade in January

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the US team for talks during the week of January 7, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng confirmed in a regular briefing Thursday in Beijing that the two sides planned to sit down for talks next month.

The meeting will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two countries since Presidents Xi and Trump agreed to a 90-day trade truce during the G20 summit in Argentina last month.

Top US officials who have spearheaded the trade negotiations thus far - including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - will, however, not be making the trip. China also announced that they will suspend implementing tariffs on USA -made Vehicles and auto parts for three months starting Jan.1.

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China's customs administration approved US rice imports on Thursday, a move that comes during a 90-day tariff truce between the two countries, which are engaged in a bruising trade war. President Trump has agreed to hold off on $200 billion in additional tariffs while negotiations are taking place. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. The nation also agreed to begin purchasing USA soybeans and temporarily relent on certain tariffs on US automobiles and parts.

During a regular briefing, Chinese commerce ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said: "The Chinese and United States economic and trade teams have always maintained close communication".

The two sides are maintaining "close communication", Gao said.

Publicly, Trump is pushing the Asian nation to reduce trade barriers and stop alleged theft of intellectual property.

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As of December 27, imports of brown rice, polished rice and crushed rice from the United States are now permitted, as long as cargoes meet China's inspection standards and are registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While next month's meeting is a positive development, the two sides are not on track to make the kind of large-scale breakthrough that the Trump administration is seeking, according to Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

In response to the United States effort, China started importing US soybeans for the first time in six months.

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