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China says to have in-depth talks with US on economic, trade issues

  • Published at 10:23 pm January 24th, 2019
China-containers
Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China on April 24, 2018 Reuters

US President Donald Trump has vowed to increase tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports

China and the United States will have in-depth discussions on economic and trade issues during Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s US visit next week, the Chinese commerce ministry said yesterday.

Both sides are currently in touch on the detailed arrangements surrounding his visit on January 30–31, Gao Feng, spokesman at the commerce ministry, told reporters.

Reports that the United States has cancelled consultations with China are untrue, Gao said, adding that the two sides have maintained close contact.

“During the upcoming high-level negotiations, both sides will continue to hold in-depth talks on various economic and trade issues of mutual concern,” Gao said.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to increase tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on March 2 unless China takes steps to protect US intellectual property.

Trumps also wants China to end policies that force American companies to turn over technology to a Chinese partner, allow more market access for US businesses, and reduce other non-tariff barriers to American products.

China has repeatedly played down complaints about intellectual property abuses, and has rejected accusations that foreign companies face forced technology transfers.

Firms in both countries are feeling the sting of US tariffs and retaliation from China. Apple Inc earlier this month rattled markets by cutting its sales outlook, blaming soft Chinese demand.

On Wednesday, White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett said he believed the United States and China could reach a trade deal by March 1.

That view was backed by equally optimistic comments by Trump on progress made in talks.

“I like where we are right now,” said Hassett.