Mnuchin in Beijing for crunch US-China trade talks

14 February, 2019, 07:17 | Author: Erin Carter
  • An MH-60R Seahawk attached to the

But the two sides are only just starting the work of drafting a common document and are still tussling over how a deal may be enforced, which USA officials have repeatedly called a crucial element.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he did not plan to meet with Xi before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes that a trade pact could be reached quickly.

Members of a U.S. trade delegation including deputy USA trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish left a Beijing hotel on Tuesday (Feb 12) on their way to the second day of talks with Chinese officials.

White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said a meeting was still possible soon, telling Fox News Channel that Trump wants a deal with China, but it must be "fair to Americans, and American workers and American interests".

The dispute has escalated to encompass $360 billion in trade between the two economic superpowers, and without an agreement by the start of March, the Trump administration is poised to more than double the punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods. Officials have said March 1 is a "real deadline" for reaching a deal.

Trump hails 'productive' meeting between US, North Korean diplomats
Trump had told the Congress that the two countries would have been in a "major war" if he had not been elected president. The State Department confirmed Biegun agreed to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol again before the summit.


United States and Chinese officials expressed hope on Monday (Feb 11) that this week's round of talks would bring them closer to easing their seven-month trade war. China will likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods that it announced a year ago in retaliation.

Trump indicated that he'll wait and see what will come of the ministerial meeting that's starting on Thursday in Beijing.

"The key is whether the US and China can find common ground", said He Weiwen, a former commerce ministry official and now a senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, an independent research group.

But US stock markets were less enthusiastic about prospects for a deal, with any optimism overshadowed by concerns about another government shutdown and a diminished 2019 US corporate earnings outlook. Washington is demanding far-reaching changes from China to address unfair practices it says are deeply unfair, including theft of American intellectual property and the massive Chinese trade surplus.

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