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Differences Exist on Some Trade Issues as China, US Wrap Up Talks

A trade spat between the top two economies of the world began last month with Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the US from China, which also retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about USD three billion on 128 US products.

PTI

Updated:May 4, 2018, 10:08 PM IST
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Differences Exist on Some Trade Issues as China, US Wrap Up Talks
Image for representation only . (Reuters)
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Beijing: China and the US on Friday reached a consensus on some trade issues while differences existed on some others as top officials from both the countries wrapped up their two day crucial talks here to end the tariff spat and avert a trade war between the two major trading partners, accrording to a media report.

The US delegation, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is also President Donald Trump's special envoy and Chinese side, led by Vice Premier Liu He, also in charge of the economy and a Politburo member of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, met on Thursday and Friday, and "agreed to stay in close communication on relevant issues and establish a corresponding work mechanism".

A trade spat between the top two economies of the world began last month with Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the US from China, which also retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about USD three billion on 128 US products.

The two countries have not yet implemented their tariff increases to reach a negotiated settlement.

"China and the US reached agreements on some issues in their economic and trade consultations in Beijing from Thursday to Friday. The two sides held candid, efficient and constructive on economic and trade issues of common concern.

Both sides recognised that considerable differences still exist on some issues, continued hard work is required for more progress," the state-run Xinhua reported.

The two sides agreed that a "sound and stable" China-US trade relationship is crucial for both, and they are committed to resolving relevant economic and trade issues through dialogue and consultation, it said.

Both sides had thorough exchange of views on issues, including increasing US exports to China, bilateral service trade, two-way investment, protection of intellectual property rights, as well as resolving tariff and non-tariff issues, reaching consensus in some areas, the report said.

The US goods and services trade with China totalled to an estimated USD 648.2 billion in 2016 in which China had a lion's share with about USD 478.9 billion exports. The US exports to China stood at USD 169.3 billion, according to US trade figures.

They also agreed to stay in close communication on relevant issues and establish a corresponding work mechanism, Xinhua reported.

Earlier in the day, ahead of the talks, Mnuchin told reporters that the US and China were having "very good conversations".

The US has given China a "detailed list of asks" and Washington wants China to lower tariffs to match the American level.

Hong Kong-based 'South China Morning Post' quoted an official statement as saying that both sides were still "very divided" on some issues and "more work needed to be done".

In a separate statement, China's Ministry of Commerce said China also protested against a US ban on Chinese tech giant ZTE buying American components.

The US delegation said it would report back to President Donald Trump on the matter, according to the ministry.

The Post report quoted a draft framework of US demands which included China to cut the trade deficit by at least USD 200 billion by the end of 2020.

Washington also demanded Beijing halt subsidies for industries under the "Made in China 2025" plan, and that China should not resort to retaliatory measures against the US, it said.

The US delegation also include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the president for economic policy Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro, Assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy.

The US, the world's largest economy, has a trade deficit of almost USD 500 billion with China, the world's second largest economy.
| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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