U.S., China to hold trade talks in Beijing in early January

A USA trade delegation will go to China the week of January 7, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead a delegation to Beijing in early January for the first face-to-face talks after a truce in tariff war between two countries, Bloomberg News reports.

Feng further said: "In January, in addition to maintaining intensive telephone consultations, the two sides have made specific arrangements for face-to-face consultations".

Word of the meeting follows small signs of progress -- and the absence of new threats from Trump -- while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.

Earlier this month, China's major state-owned grain stockpiler said it had resumed buying U.S. soybeans, and Beijing announced it would suspend extra tariffs added to US-made cars and auto parts starting January 1.

For months, the US and China have engaged in tit-for-tat increases in tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of exports flowing between the two countries.

Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping agreed December 1 to postpone more tariff increases for 90 days while their governments negotiate over US complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. China wants the U.S.to remove the punitive tariffs that have been imposed and not add new ones, but suspects the USA will ask for more before it agrees to do that, the people said.

More news: Canada says third citizen detained in China amid diplomatic row

The U.S. also delayed a planned January 1 tariff increase until March 2.

After returning from his Buenos Aires meeting with Xi, Trump said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be in charge of the China negotiations.

China enters trade talks said to begin early next month in Beijing having made concerted efforts to end the standoff with the USA, and also unsure it's done enough.

While next month's meeting is a positive development, the two sides are not on track to make the kind of large-scale breakthrough that the Trump administration is seeking, according to Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute. He said that March 1 was a "hard deadline" that was endorsed by Trump, Bloomberg reported.

In response, China has resumed purchases of USA soyabeans for the first time in six months, even though hefty tariffs on United States cargoes remain in place.

Trump said his agreement with Xi would go down "as one of the largest deals ever made".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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