China says U.S. trade talks 'laid foundation' to resolve concerns

10 January, 2019, 10:55 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • What hope for markets in the US-China trade talks?

-China talks raised hopes of easing trade tensions between the two superpowers, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support.

-Chinese talks aimed at ending a costly tariff battle wrapped up Wednesday in an optimistic atmosphere, with President Donald Trump saying they were "going very well!".

China says it is trying to protect its own economic interests and has accused the USA of violating worldwide trading rules.

Three days of talks with the US have "laid the foundation" for resolving the bilateral trade row between the world's two largest economies, China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The dollar tumbled to its lowest level since October after the Fed expressed caution about future rate hikes, and as investors reduced safe-haven bets due to optimism about U.S. Stocks rose globally after the two economic powers appeared to inch closer to an agreement, with the S&P 500 Index rising for a fourth day to the highest in nearly a month.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed domestic crude stockpiles fell less than expected last week.

China made that pledge after the Xi-Trump meeting in Buenos Aires, when USA officials said China would start buying immediately.

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

But U.S. indexes posted modest gains. The New York Times reported that, according to unnamed U.S. sources, American officials pressed China for more details on how it will guarantee its offers will be implemented. "Progress should include a mechanism for the removal of tariffs and measurable, commercially meaningful outcomes", the U.S.

"China's ability to use (North Korea) as leverage has diminished considerably since Trump opened his own channel to Kim", she said. Trump has complained repeatedly about the US trade deficit with China, which past year likely exceeded the 2017 gap of $336 billion.

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The USTR statement didn't say whether progress had been achieved on its main concerns.

Beijing on Friday cut bank reserve requirements amid slowing growth at home and pressure from the USA tariffs.

Three days of U.S.

"The talks ... focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States", the USTR said in its statement.

Later this month, Lighthizer is expected to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, Xi's top economic aide who is leading negotiations for China.

Key decisions on some of the tougher issues are expected to be left for future rounds of talks, such as USA complaints that Beijing's policies force American companies to hand over technology and unfairly boost Chinese firms with subsidies.

Chinese officials have suggested Beijing might alter its industrial plans but reject pressure to abandon what they consider a path to prosperity and global influence.

In return, the US will agree to wind down exorbitant tariffs now placed on Chinese imports. US negotiators are also taking steps to ensure the Chinese government actually follows through on its promises. Asian bourses saw a strong finish with Japan's Nikkei and China's blue-chip CSI 300 closing up 1 per cent while the tech-heavy South Korean KOSPI jumped almost 2 per cent.

"If it is immediately after these talks, it really means that something executable is going to happen; if it is next month or so, then you have a feeling that things are not really that executable for the moment".

Also Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in a possible effort to co-ordinate with the North's only major ally ahead of a possible meeting with Trump.


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