Sunday, December 10, 2023

U.S. and China agree to resume trade talks

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By Barbara Olejnik

Poultry Times staff

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and China have agreed to resume talks seeking to resolve disputes over trade issues.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and agreed to resume trade negotiations.

Trump said the two presidents discussed a number of items and “we’re right back on track. We had a very, very good meeting with China.”

While the two leaders have agreed to continue trade talks, it will later be up to negotiating teams for each nation to work out the details of any new accord.

The trade dispute between the two countries began in March 2018, when the U.S. imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods as a means to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.

Since 2013, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Chinas has risen to an average of $370 billion annually.

Since the March imposition of tariffs, the U.S. has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing has retaliated by taxing $110 billion in goods from the U.S.

However, Trump has refrained from imposing import taxes on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods, which would levy tariffs on everything China ships to the U.S.

Negotiations for a trade agreement between the two countries halted in early May when China walked out on the talks.

Each country blamed the other nation for the breakdown in the trade talks. Each country said the other nation was seeking changes to a deal that had largely already been agreed to.

Trump, in a May 19 interview with Fox News Channel said that the U.S. and China “had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it.”

The U.S. is seeking changes to China’s trade and economic policies, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets.

The Trump administration also wants China to commit to more purchases of U.S. exports, including such things as soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

The U.S. also wants Beijing to accept an enforcement mechanism to ensure that China honors whatever commitments it makes.

The Officer of the U.S. Trade Representative, in a 2018 report, said Beijing promised eight times since 2010 not to force foreign companies to transfer technology to China. However, the U.S. claims that the practice continues.

China, according to press reports, wants the U.S. to remove all tariffs and drop efforts to get China to buy more U.S. exports.

The U.S. and China have already made inroads on resolving some issues affecting trade between the two countries.

President Trump has said he will now allow U.S. companies to sell some components to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, which was put on a U.S. blacklist as a threat to national security.

A U.S. lifting of the ban on the sale of U.S. technology to Huawei was expected to be a Chinese demand in any trade talks.

The company itself will remain on the blacklist and Trump said its future won’t be decided until the end of the trade talks.

Premier Li Keqiang, China’s second-ranking official, in a recent talk to the World Economic Forum, said China will end ownership limits for foreign investors in its financial sector in 2020, a year earlier than scheduled.

Currently, foreign companies are only allowed to hold partial stakes in Chinese businesses.

Li also said China will further open its manufacturing sector, including the auto industry.

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