China Says Beijing Talks Lay Foundation For Trade Resolution

US-China trade talks extended to third day

Three days of US-Chinese talks aimed at ending a costly tariff battle wrapped up Wednesday in an optimistic atmosphere after President Donald Trump said they were "going very well!".

A U.S. delegation arrived in Beijing on Monday for the first face-to-face dialogue with officials in Beijing since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a three-month tariff truce during a meeting held on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina on December 1. For sales going the other direction, the crunch was more immediate.

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

It appears trade talks between the US and China are going well as reports suggest the two sides are getting closer on settling their differences.

Trump boasted on Twitter on Tuesday that discussions in China were "going very well!". But the shutdown may yet prevent Trump's appearance, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Officials say talks are expected to deliver specific commitments to expand market access for USA in China, improve protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduce the trade surplus with the U.S., but it would take time to reform state-owned firms another major source of friction. Lu said he had no details and an official statement would be issued later. "Uncertainty is bad for business".

The negotiations were extended from the two days initially scheduled, according to the Chinese. US officials appear to want to maintain the pressure of tariffs, the official said. That meeting would likely include a senior Chinese government official along with trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Economists now see the threat of deflation in China after producer price inflation slowed sharply in December, to the weakest pace since 2016.

That would not only squeeze corporate profitability at home, but also put pressure on global price gains, as export prices usually follow those at factory gate.

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What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?
The talks are occurring as Chinese growth - 6.5 percent in the July-to-September period - fell to its lowest point in a decade. But as meetings wound down in Beijing on Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted: "Talks with China are going very well! ".

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter but surveys show consumer confidence weakening.

A reduction in Chinese imports of USA goods came quickly after the retaliatory imposition of tariffs, the data show. Without a breakthrough in talks, US corporations are likely to experience a deepening decline in their Chinese sales, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts even seeing an "informal boycott" in place.

Russia is reportedly ranked as China's tenth biggest trade partner, while China remains a major importer of Russian produce, accounting for 15 percent of the country's worldwide trade as of 2017.

The Trump administration is pushing for a way to make sure China delivers on its commitments in any deal.

Washington has been clamouring for an end to the alleged forced transfer - and even theft - of American technology, as well as steep government subsidies for Chinese companies.

"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", USTR said in a statement.

"The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement", said the USA statement, adding that United States officials, who left Beijing on Wednesday, will now report back for further guidance.

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