US Expresses Optimism About Trade Talks with China

U.S. China leave next steps for trade talks unclear

The trade talks are the result of an agreement last month between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop the tit-for-tat tariff conflict between the two countries for 90 days starting on New Year's Day.

Asian markets rose on increasing optimism that the two sides would be able to hammer out a deal ahead of a March deadline and avert further import tariff hikes.

U.S. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, center, who is part of U.S. trade delegation leaves from a hotel for a second day of meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, China, Jan. 8, 2019.

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.

"Talks with China are going very well!".

China's foreign ministry confirmed the negotiations had ended in Beijing but declined to comment on the outcome, saying details would be released later.

The US delegation, led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included representatives from the departments of energy, agriculture, treasury and commerce, while the Chinese side was led by Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen.

Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields.

The Trump administration wants Beijing to abandon its strategy of seeking global industrial predominance through the alleged theft and forced transfer of American technology as well as massive state intervention in markets.

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That issue was the first stressed in the statement released Wednesday, which noted that "the officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement".

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!".

The U.S. president is increasingly eager to strike a deal with China soon in an effort to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over the trade war, according to people familiar with internal White House deliberations.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he has "heard some very encouraging words" about the talks as well. "I do talk with them and I give them my ideas and thoughts".

"China's position in the China-US trade friction and its solutions to the friction is open, it's transparent", Lu said at a regular press briefing.

The temporary trade war ceasefire came after the two sides imposed import duties on more than $300 billion in two-way trade.

Trump imposed tariff increases of up to 25 per cent on $250 billion USA in Chinese imports.

Global financial markets retreated late past year, largely over concerns about the economic impact of a protracted trade war.

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