Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

China trade talks wrap up, with outcome unclear

China trade talks wrap up, with outcome unclear

Trade discussions between the United States and China spanned a wide range of matters, including "structural issues" that the Americans have long complained about, statements from both sides revealed.

"Crude continues to extend gains as early reports from Beijing, regarding trade negotiations, are fuelling optimism around successful trade talks between the United States and China, " said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

China's position on trade is "transparent and the US side is well aware of it", said Lu Kang.

Oil prices rose by around one per cent on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that Washington and Beijing may soon resolve trade disputes that have cast a dark shadow over the global economy.


If talks continue to go well, a cabinet-level meeting is likely to happen before the end of the month. Trump has said he would increase those duties to 25 per cent from 10 per cent now if no deal is reached by March 2, and has threatened to tax all imports from China if Beijing fails to cede to U.S. demands.

Since the start of the trade war in July, both sides have levied billions in tariffs that have shaken business sentiment, in a conflict many see an extension of a technology battle between the world's two largest economies.

President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping have given their officials until March 1 to reach an accord on "structural changes" to China's economy on issues such as the forced transfer of American technology, intellectual-property rights, and nontariff barriers.

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.


The deputy level negotiators will report back on next steps for talks, the USA statement said. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to USA demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

While the talks were mostly between mid-level officials, a photograph leaked on Monday showed they were also attended by China's Vice-Premier Liu He, the chief trade negotiator for the Chinese side. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to US demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on USA -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers. "If the results of the talks are positive, it would be beneficial for both China and the U.S. and good news for the global economy".

China says it is trying to protect its own economic interests and has accused the USA of violating worldwide trading rules. 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. Forecasters expect American orders to slump this year.

China also restarted purchases of American soybeans last month, providing relief for a crop hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.


Chinese officials complain about controls on "dual use" technology with possible military applications. China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for United States companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses. They complain China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

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