USA says China has pledged to buy United States as tough issues remain

Galtero Lara
Enero 10, 2019

Chinese traders and refiners are still cautious about buying USA crude until the trade problems between the world's two biggest economies are resolved, but if they are, chances are US crude exports would get an additional boost.

This week's meetings are the first face-to-face talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.

World markets rose on increasing optimism that the two sides would be able to hammer out a deal ahead of a March deadline and avert further import tariff hikes.

Steven Winberg, assistant secretary for fossil energy, has told reporters that discussions will be extended for another day.

Officials say talks are expected to deliver specific commitments to expand market access for USA in China, improve protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and reduce the trade surplus with the U.S., but it would take time to reform state-owned firms another major source of friction.

Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit amounting to United States dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well".

China's foreign ministry confirmed the negotiations had ended in Beijing but declined to comment on the outcome, saying details would be released later.

The American delegation is led by a deputy USA trade representative, Jeffrey Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.

A spokeswoman for the United States trade representative's office, which is leading the U.S. negotiating team, said talks would continue on Wednesday and "a statement will likely follow then".

The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market. Officials discussed the need for any deal to include "ongoing verification and effective enforcement", USTR said.

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China and the United States wrapped up three days of trade talks and are reportedly coordinating how to characterize the results publicly as officials from both nations expressed optimism that progress had been made.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross signalled on Monday that there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement. The Asian markets reached almost one-month highs on speculation that the world's two largest economies were hammering out a deal, Schmitz said.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he has "heard some very encouraging words" about the talks as well.

The discussions "went just fine", he said without elaborating, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

China's position on trade is "transparent and the US side is well aware of it", said Lu Kang.

China responded by imposing penalties on $110 billion of American goods, slowing customs clearance for USA companies and suspending issuing licenses in finance and other businesses.

Without a resolution, punitive USA duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2.

Global financial markets retreated late a year ago, largely over concerns about the economic impact of a protracted trade war.

"Even if a deal is cobbled together, the more strident trade hawks in the White House and Trump may not sign off", Mizuho Bank's Vishnu Varathan said in a report.

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