US, China trade negotiations positive as Beijing meetings continue

U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing raise hopes that a deal may be reached

The two sides "implemented the consensus" reached by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump in earlier talks, and discussed both trade and structural issues in the meetings, which took place January 7 to January 9.

For its part, China said the meetings were " extensive, in-depth and detailed", and laid the foundation for a resolution of the conflict.

China and the USA wrapped up three days of trade talks and are reportedly coordinating how to characterize the results publicly as officials from both nations expressed optimism that progress had been made.

Such a move would likely prompt further retaliation by China, which has already levied tariffs on US goods, further rattling investors who are nervous about a significant slowdown in China's economy.

World markets rose Wednesday 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 - though Asian stocks were mostly down on Thursday.

U.S. officials visited Beijing from Monday to Wednesday for the first sit-down talks since President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.

The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper known for its nationalist leanings, said on Twitter around 4 pm in Beijing that he'd heard the two sides were still consulting on the wording of coordinated statements.

America is seeking assurances that China will buy more products from the U.S.in order to reduce the trade deficit, and it wants a fairer playing field for US companies that do business inside China, NPR has reported.

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A statement from the US Trade Representative said the talks "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured, and other products and services from the United States". Without a breakthrough in talks, USA corporations are likely to experience a deepening decline in their Chinese sales, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts even seeing an "informal boycott" in place.

Additionally, the USA and China will meet for a third day on Wednesday.

A group representing American companies doing business in China welcomed the "substantive discussions", but stressed the need to work out key details.

The talks that started Monday were the first face-to-face meeting since Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed December 1 to suspend further punitive action against each other's imports for 90 days while they negotiate over the fight sparked by American complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress on a deal. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 7 percent since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month. -China Business Council. "That is very positive".

Productive talks could be a boon to the economies of both countries, which spent most of 2018 mired in a trade war that imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each other's goods.

Washington has been clamouring for an end to the forced transfer - and even theft - of American technology and intellectual property, as well as steep government subsidies for Chinese companies.

"The earlier escalation of the trade conflict between the USA and China and souring bilateral relations appear to have given way to a more conciliatory approach since early December", he wrote in a note Thursday.

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