U.S. Hints at China Talks Progress as Trump Riles Trade Allies

Commerce Secretary To Press China To Buy As Allies Seethe Over Tariffs

U.S. Hints at China Talks Progress as Trump Riles Trade Allies

The appeal came ahead of planned weekend talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on US pressure to narrow China's multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's Vice Premier Liu He.

"Our meetings so far have been friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items", Ross told the Chinese trade team led by Liu, President Xi Jinping's right hand-man on economic issues, on Sunday morning.

The third round of trade talks between the world's two largest economies appeared to fall short of bridging the gap between Beijing and Washington, which are at loggerheads over Chinese trade and industrial policy practices that US President Donald Trump says kill American jobs.

Still, Beijing warned that any deal would be void if Washington went ahead with proposed tariffs.

A statement released by the Chinese side at the talks with the usa in Beijing said nothing specific about the outcome, and referred back to an agreement reached in Washington last month to increase purchase of usa goods and services.

However, the Trump administration's announcement late Tuesday that it would impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese technology by the end of this month cast doubt on trade talks between the two countries, the AP noted.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the dispute was "on hold" and the tariff hike would be postponed.

The U.S. delegation included energy and agriculture experts, reflecting the U.S. desire to increase exports of natural gas and food in an effort to reduce the $375 billion annual deficit in goods trade with China.

The statement said, "If the United States introduces trade sanctions including increasing tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will not take effect".

The two-day talks in Beijing which ended on Sunday followed an earlier round in Washington where officials had met to discuss the situation.

China has threatened to hit back with tit-for-tat tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in USA goods.

"The door for negotiation and discussion remains open", Hua said.

The American Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US has not released its statement on the talks.

It referred instead to a consensus they reached last month in Washington, when China agreed to increase significantly its purchases of USA goods and services.

Ross nonetheless journeyed to Beijing Friday to work out details of the vague agreement Mnuchin had earlier cobbled together with the Chinese vice premier. But the International Monetary Fund has warned that a trade war could threaten the recovery, and policy makers are contending with a growing list of geopolitical risks, from a political crisis in Italy to the rocky progress of peace talks with North Korea.

At the meetings last week between lower-level Chinese and US officials, negotiations almost stalled as the two sides failed to reach an agreement on details for increasing Chinese purchases of USA crude oil, soybeans, natural gas, beef, and poultry. "The Chinese side has realised that the United States has just delayed its trade actions rather than giving them up - but Beijing didn't expect a change of attitude so quickly". Germany is also hoping its steel exports to the United States will be exempted from sanctions.

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