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U.S.-China Trade Talks Set to Wrap Up With Few Signs of Progress

Trade Talks Between US and China Not Concluded

BEIJING – High-level trade talks between the United States and China were to end in Beijing on Friday, due to lack of time to reach an agreement that would avoid an increase in US tariffs on Chinese products until 1st of March, “Bloomsberg” reported Friday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made no comments to the press on Friday morning for a final day of talks with counterparts, including Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, reportedly they will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In closed sessions this week, the two sides failed to narrow the gap on structural reforms in the Chinese economy demanded by the United States, according to three US and Chinese officials who asked not to be identified because the interviews were private. They said it would probably be a meeting between Xi and President Donald Trump to seal an agreement.
The United States has not yielded to China’s demand to reduce government subsidies to state-owned enterprises and improve corporate governance, said one of the respondents, a question considered extremely delicate by Chinese leaders.
Uncertainty weighed on investors as Asian equities retreated from their highest levels since October, following a fall in US stocks. Both parties are encouraged to reach an agreement: Trump has repeatedly linked market gains to his government’s policy, while Bloomberg Economics estimates that China would avoid a 0.3% slowdown in gross domestic product by 2019 if commercial truce was respected.
Trump said earlier this week that it was willing to postpone more than double of the $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if the two countries were to reach an agreement that would see deep structural change in China’s economic and trade policies. Bloomberg News announced Wednesday that it plans to postpone the 60-day deadline.
Asked on Thursday whether the Trump administration was considering extending the deadline for tariff increases, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said no decision had been made.
The negotiators in Beijing “continue to work” and the “good mood” is good, Kudlow told Fox News, adding that he was briefed by US officials on Thursday. “They will meet with President Xi tomorrow, which is a very good sign. They tackle all the problems. They do the work. ”
Kudlow later told the White House press that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome of the talks with China.
The date of appointment between Trump and Xi has not been fixed yet and it is unlikely that the couple can meet before the deadline of 1st March.
White House advisor Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that Trump wanted to meet Xi “very soon”.
(Sahar News/Monitoring Desk)

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