US negotiator in Beijing for trade talks amid trade truce deadline

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The United States negotiator visited Beijing on Monday for the round of talks aimed at trade deal amid trade negotiation deadline on March 1 which was set by the US President Donald Trump.

According to The Weeks news reports, before the United States treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer step in for the very main conference on Thursday and Friday this week, several preliminary discussions were going to be held by lower-level delegations from both sides.

In December, Washington has suspended its plan for three months in order to increase tariffs on Chinese imports worth USD 200 billion to about 25 per cent from its current 10 per cent in a bid to provide space to negotiator to resolve the trade dispute that has triggered global economic fears. Last month’s round of talks in Washington has ended without any deal.

The White House said deputy trade representative Jeffery Gerrish would be leading the US delegation in trade meeting on Monday. The trade talks will include officials from commerce, energy and agriculture departments.

Later, when Lighthizer and Mnuchin will involve in talks on Thursday and Friday, David Malpass will join them, who was Trump’s nominee for the World Bank head.

Vice premier Liu He will lead the Chinese delegation, which will be joined by the central bank governor Yi Gang.

Last week, Trump has said he didn’t expect to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before trade truce deadline on March 1, and Larry Kudlow, top White House economic adviser, said while the US president appeared “optimistic” about a trade deal, a “sizeable distance” still separated both sides.

The US is demanding far-reaching changes from Beijing to address the commercial practices which they say are unfair as well as myriad barriers and theft of American intellectual property that Washington along with other foreign companies is facing in the domestic market of China.

In response, China has offered to enhance and boost its purchase of American goods during the truce with Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics saying China likely to resist calls for the structural changes into its industrial policy, also slashing subsidies of the government.

“The US side will not fully remove the spectre of tariff hikes any time soon,” Kuijs said, given that there is “broad support in the US for a hard stance on China”.

On Sunday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the possible economic “storm” as the growth forecasts dip.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde told the World Government Summit in Dubai: “We have no idea how it (the trade dispute) is going to pan out and what we know is that it is already beginning to have an effect on trade, on confidence and on markets.”


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