China says high-level trade talks with USA have resumed

Sergio Conner
November 15, 2018

Chinese officials have outlined a series of potential concessions to the Trump administration for the first time since the summer as they continue to try to resolve a trade war, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The two sides have been far apart during their months-long tariff dispute.

Mnuchin is seen as an advocate within the administration of a deal, while others such as Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, have been pushing to continue raising pressure on Beijing to try to push for more meaningful reforms.

Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said trade advisor Peter Navarro was "way off base" in his comments, and were not authorised. "They are not capable of it", said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who pointed to the two men's lack of experience in hard trade negotiations.

A US team led by Treasury Under Secretary David Malpass discussed trade issues with a Chinese team via videoconference on Tuesday, a US Treasury spokesperson said on Wednesday.

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The fierce rebuke followed Navarro's appearance at Washington, D.C.'s Center for Strategic and International Studies last Friday, where the economist warned that any trade deal between the United States and China would not rely on Wall Street or any meddling by "globalist elites". Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports, about US$267 billion worth, if Beijing fails to address U.S. demands.

It responded to U.S. tariffs with its own protectionist measures and continues its multibillion-dollar One Belt investment program, which is meant to secure additional stable trade routes to its most important suppliers and customers.

The two countries resumed talks after the call between the two leaders, ending a three month hiatus that saw relations deteriorate as the United States accused China of interfering in USA domestic politics and seeking to undermine Trump. He first moved to add the additional levies to $50 billion of China's imports this summer, to which Beijing responded in a tit-for-tat manner, placing new taxes on an equal amount of USA products. "Not Wall Street terms", said Navarro.

"This is one of the major goals that they [Chinese officials] are working hard on - to prevent those tariffs from coming into force early next year".

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