Top Chinese trade negotiator to visit Washington later this month


Ahead of US-China trade talks set for Monday and Tuesday, China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement that the renewed negotiations over the ongoing trade row would include "positive and constructive discussions".

Members of the delegation to China leave a hotel in Beijing on January 7, 2019. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that negotiations were going "very well" and investors are keen to see what comes next.

"I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate".

US and Chinese officials met Monday in the Commerce Ministry in Beijing to begin their two-day trade negotiations.

The talks are the first face-to-face interactions between the USA and China since both presidents met in Argentina and agreed a temporary truce in their tit-for-tat tariff war.

Trump has imposed tariffs to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from corporate espionage to market access and industrial subsidies.

The US was "confirming the logistics of several meetings" that could be held with China during the forum, Mnuchin told Bloomberg News last month.

A U.S. guided-missile destroyer sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea in what China called a "provocation" as United States officials joined talks in Beijing during a truce in a bitter trade war. There are concerns that US growth, 3.4 percent in the third quarter, could also be slowing even as the country's unemployment rate remains almost at a five-decade low.

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The two-day talks mark the first formal meeting since the pair agreed to refrain from any further tariffs for 90 days.

Trump also said that he thinks the United States has the upper hand since the Chinese economy is experiencing a severe downturn.

"Adding to that, there are concerns over state-sponsored cybersecurity attacks and a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, which itself has roiled markets", Noguchi said.

Without a resolution, punitive U.S. duty rates on US$200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on March 2.

The United States has long complained about access to the vast Chinese market and Beijing's demands USA companies reveal their technology advances.

The decision to hold this week's talks at a deputy minister level reflects the need to work out technical details before higher-level officials make "hard political decisions on major issues", said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

But in a sign of how interconnected the two economies are, Apple shares dropped last week after the tech giant reported steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in the last quarter in China - one of its largest overseas markets. The economy needs certainty. In December, it promised to reduce tariff rates on 700 products, including drug ingredients and animal feed.

These two nations had been locked in a tariff war for much of the 2018, inflicting agonizing wounds and disrupting the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars, while both of the countries had suffered bad, alongside the global economy.