China-US trade talks move to higher level as deadline looms

U.S.-China trade talks enter crucial phase before Trump's tariff call

U.S.-China trade talks enter crucial phase before Trump's tariff call

Reinsch told VOA's Mandarin service that US negotiators are specifically seeking ways to hold China accountable for the commitments it makes in any deal. It will be his second meeting with Lighthizer following last month's talks in Washington. The following day, a 10 percent tariff imposed in July on $200 billion of Chinese imports would rise to 25 percent.

Even if a deal is reached it will not take the form of a detailed document. Vice President Mike Pence leads the USA delegation while Politburo member Yang Jiechi will be the most senior Chinese official.

After progress in the talks in Beijing, the fourth round of negotiations is scheduled for next week in Washington.

If an MOU is reached, along the lines of those established between the U.S. and the European Union and the United States and Japan, the drawing up of a final agreement would take place with existing USA tariffs remaining in place. There are still not enough clues to suggest whether or not a final deal between the two parties can be reached.

USA and Chinese officials wrapped up days of trade talks in Beijing on Friday with plans to resume negotiations in Washington this week as the world's top two economies try to smooth out their thorny trade dispute.

China has pledged to end market-distorting subsidies for its domestic industries but offered no details on how it would achieve that goal, according to three people familiar with the U.S.

In a tweet, he said, "From what I know, during the just-concluded round of China-U.S. trade talks, the two sides have discussed how to draft a document on comprehensively solving China-U.S. trade disputes, namely a MoU", adding that "After almost one year of tough talks, I think the finishing line is almost in sight".

"I think it's going along very well", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office this week.




The two US cabinet officials will meet with Xi on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a source briefed on the arrangements.

Decline in imports by China reportedly slowed to 1.5 percent from 7.6 percent in the previous month.

Besides that, Trump may have other reasons to urge for a trade deal with China, as macroeconomic conditions in the USA are deteriorating. Specifically, Lighthizer has zeroed in on China's alleged abuses of intellectual property and state sponsorship of companies.

The U.S. and China are sending large delegations to Friday's Munich Security Conference in Germany, a high-level conference on global security policy. If that has been the shared understanding during this week's talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Washington next week, hopefully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the two leaders can pencil in a date for a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

Then there is the question of how to enforce whatever is agreed on.

Meetings have already started at the deputy level in Beijing this week.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says US and Chinese negotiators "made headway on very, very important" issues in talks on a technology dispute.

Without knowing exactly how the Chinese government finances industries and state-run companies, any reform promises would be hard to enforce, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are confidential. But they are well aware that the fundamental United States objective is to try to block China's industrial and technological development.

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