Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

Optimism rises as U.S.-China trade talks conclude

Optimism rises as U.S.-China trade talks conclude

Both sides have actively implemented the significant consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, said the statement.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies escalated previous year, putting global stock markets on edge. At the heart of U.S. concerns is the "Made in China 2025" industrial policy, a strategy Beijing hopes will allow it to supersede United States technology supremacy, which it has since played down without indicating it will fully abandon the plan.

The meetings were the first since Chinese President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart Donald Trump agreed to a 90-day truce to the trade war at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires in December.

But the statement did not say if the two sides have reached any agreement during the talks that concluded on Wednesday.

The two governments have announced no details, but Asian stock markets rose on news of the decision to extend negotiations that originally were planned for two days.

United States stock futures also firmed, pointing to another strong day on Wall Street after the S&P 500 gained almost 1 per cent on Tuesday.

The deputy level negotiators will report back on next steps for talks, the USA statement said.

More news: Liverpool boss Klopp on Ki-Jana Hoever

Big spending on commodities and goods would send a positive signal on China's intent to work with the United States, but would do nothing to resolve the US demands that require hard structural change from China.

"Our sense is that there's good progress on the purchase piece", said one person familiar with the talks.

While there were indications that China would be open to buying more USA agricultural and energy products and allowing market access, demands for Chinese structural reforms to halt forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft were greater hurdles in the discussions, people familiar with the talks said.

Both sides improved mutual understanding and laid the foundation for resolving issues of mutual concern.

The optimistic tone continues surrounding the first face-to-face talks between the USA and China since agreeing to a 90 day tariff "cease-fire". Vice Premier Liu He made an appearance at the talks on Monday in a sign the Chinese were also pushing for a positive outcome.

The U.S. Trade Representative said topics at the meeting included China's pledge to buy more energy and agricultural products and manufactured goods from the U.S. But that's a relatively minor area of disagreement.

The talks are taking longer than expected as the Chinese commerce ministry had said last week that the meetings would take place on Monday and Tuesday.

More news: Tax Refunds From IRS May Be Delayed Due to Government Shutdown

The negotiations were initially scheduled to last two days but went on for three because both sides were "serious" and "honest", Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, told a news conference. China's yuan strengthened in offshore trading by 0.4 per cent to its strongest level in five weeks.

China has imposed penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

One of the biggest challenges to any deal would be to ensure that China enforces whatever is agreed to stop technology transfers, intellectual property theft and hacking of USA computer networks.

Trump hiked tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

China's overall trade surplus is seen to have climbed to $50.73 billion in December, from $44.71 billion the previous month, according to the poll.

Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totalled an estimated Dollars 75.0 billion in 2017.

More news: Sears Holdings Likely Heading to Liquidation

Like this: