Mnuchin in Beijing for crunch US-China trade talks


The latest leg of trade talk held next to White House between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Treasury's Mnuchin and other US officials, had not been as productive as it was expected to be and the global markets paid a hefty price following the trade talk that ended last week.

US officials have said March 1st is a hard deadline, but President Trump has suggested a possible extension if progress was being made.

A new round of trade talks between the USA and China begins in Beijing this week, with both sides hoping to reach a trade deal by the end of this month.

"I think they're making progress and my hope is that by March 1 there will be enough progress to be made that at a minimum, there could be a delay in the imposition of additional tariffs", Portman told reporters.

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The meeting is likely to be another effort to clinch a trade deal with the United States heading into the March 1 tariff deadline.

If a deal is not reached by the beginning of next month then Washington is set to more than double tariffs on 200 billion dollars-worth of Chinese imports.

"But at some point, I expect to meet with President Xi, who I have a lot of respect for and like a lot, and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make", Trump said. A round of talks at the end of January ended with some progress reported, but no deal and US declarations that much more work was needed. China will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods that it announced a year ago in retaliation. While those purchases will provide relief to US farmers, there has been no breakthrough on the structural issues separating the two nations, such as industrial policy, government subsidies, protection of intellectual property or forced transfers of technology. It has fast-tracked approval of a law that would ban theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, but the question is how much more it can compromise. According to a White House official, the delegates were preparing to focus more on pressing Beijing to gain a structural reform in China's business policy for the USA firms.