A view of the city skyline is seen in Beijing, China December 31, 2018. (Reuters Photo/Jason Lee)

China and US to Hold Trade Talks in Beijing This Week


JANUARY 06, 2019

Beijing. China and the United States will hold vice-ministerial-level trade talks in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, as the two countries face pressure to end a trade war that is hurting the world's two top economies and roiling global financial markets.

For much of the past year, the trade war has disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and hit the global economy. Official data this week showed manufacturing activity slowed in both countries, and companies such as Apple and Cargill said the trade battle had hit earnings.

A team led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will come to China to have "positive and constructive discussions" with his counterparts, China's commerce ministry said in a statement on its website.

In a separate statement on Friday, the Office of the US Trade Representative said the delegation will also include undersecretaries from the US departments of agriculture, commerce, energy and treasury, as well as senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

Neither statement provided more details about the talks, but in an interview with Fox News Business Network, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the discussions will examine "the whole story," including commodities, agriculture and industrial capital goods.

At a summit in Argentina late last year, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days while they attempted to negotiate a deal.

Now, the countries face a March deadline for talks to end the damaging trade war, or Washington could proceed with a sharp hike in US tariffs and Beijing could retaliate.

Trump has said talks are progressing well, but it remained unclear if Beijing will yield to US demands for more open markets, forced technology transfer and industrial subsidies. Meeting some of those demands would require difficult structural reform.

"We know what sort of changes we need. Now, the question is can we negotiate these changes and can we do so with enforcement [and] with timetables," Kudlow said on Friday.

The US Trade Representative Office said in the statement that the delegation will include Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator, Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, Gilbert Kaplan, undersecretary for international trade, Steven Winberg, assistant secretary for fossil energy, and David Malpass, undersecretary for international affairs.