Trade talks between the United States and China are set to continue next week in Washington after both countries noted positive headway in reaching a deal that would end their monthslong tariff dispute.
Wrapping up a round of high-level negotiations were Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and then President Xi Jinping on Friday. The two parties seek to avert an increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, scheduled to take effect on March 1.
During the discussions, the U.S. delegation addressed China’s forced technology transfer and intellectual property practices, as well as the bilateral trade deficit. A statement from the White House read that any commitments would be stated in “Memoranda of Understanding.”
“These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties,” the press release said. “Much work remains, however … Next week, discussions will continue in Washington at the ministerial and vice-ministerial levels. The United States looks forward to these further talks and hopes to see additional progress.”
Mnuchin also remarked on “productive meetings” between the officials of the world’s two largest economies, while Lighthizer told the Associated Press that they “have additional work we have to do, but we are hopeful.”
Expressing a similar sentiment, Xi shared that both sides “have again achieved important progress for the current stage,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. “I have repeatedly said that China and the United States cannot be separated from one another. Only through cooperation can a win-win situation be attained, and confrontation will certainly lead to a lose-lose scenario.”
The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, with China slapping levies on $110 billion in U.S. products. Following a formal dinner at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, President Donald Trump and Xi established a 90-day financial truce between the two countries. Trump is said to be mulling a possible extension to the ceasefire by another 60 days and indicated that he would not accept a deal without meeting his Chinese counterpart.
“No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “China’s representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table.”
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