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China pledges to buy more United States goods as trade talks end

10 January 2019, 01:24 | Hattie Nash

China pledges to buy more United States goods as trade talks end

China pledges to buy more United States goods as trade talks end

United States and Chinese negotiators wrapped up their latest round of trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday as they seek a way out of a damaging trade war.

China - Pyongyang's sole diplomatic ally and main source of trade - said it would not use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the U.S. trade talks. China aimed to buy at least 5 million tons of American soybeans as part of the truce.

Trump, who has accused China and other nations of exploiting the United States in global trade, has said he will raise tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports if no deal is reached by March 2. Ross told CNBC the talks were being held with appropriate-level staff and would help determine how the administration moves forward.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected suggestions that Kim's visit was intended as a bargaining chip during the trade talks. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based worldwide order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise". Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to USA demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US -made cars, resuming soybean purchases, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

"As for whether the Chinese economy is good or not, I have already explained this". Lu said an official statement would come later.

Increased purchases by China of U.S. soybeans, oil, liquefied natural gas and financial services are viewed as easier to achieve than major changes to China's industrial policies aimed at transferring USA technology to Chinese firms. Trump said on Twitter, but gave no further information.

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Few details have emerged from the trade talks, which are scheduled to run through Tuesday.

Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. came earlier than many had expected, with Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times tabloid, tweeting on Wednesday to say that both sides would be releasing statements "at the same time on Thursday morning Beijing time".

USA exports of crude will also enjoy the support of a still sizeable discount of West Texas Intermediate to Brent crude, which is close to US$10 a barrel.

Another photo shows a wider view of dozens of officials from each country seated at three long tables facing each other and around the room's borders, significantly more people than those attending previous rounds of U.S.

Some analysts say that China - Pyongyang's key diplomatic ally and main source of trade - could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the U.S. trade talks.

The American delegation is led by a deputy US trade representative, Jeffrey Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.

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"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the U.S.

"I hope too that we'll make progress on all of the other places whether China's not behaving in the way that we wish it would, whether that's their cyber activity that has had a real impact, whether that's the theft of intellectual property, which has hurt American businesses".

Trump has been demanding China to drastically reduce the $375 billion trade deficit and ensure IPR production for USA technology and services.

A group representing American companies doing business in China welcomed the "substantive discussions", but stressed the need to work out key details.

Even if a trade agreement is reached soon, analysts say it would be no panacea for China's economy, which is expected to continue decelerating in coming months.

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