US focuses on Beijing’s pledge to buy more goods as trade talks end

Vastavam web: U.S.-China trade talks ended on Wednesday with negotiators focused on Beijing’s pledge to buy “a substantial amount” of agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services from the United States, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said. In a statement that gave no specific details on the outcome of three days of talks in China’s capital this week, USTR said that U.S. and Chinese officials discussed “ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations”.

No schedule for further face-to-face negotiations was released, and USTR said the American delegation would return to Washington to report on the meetings and “to receive guidance on the next steps.” The USTR statement contained no details on the amount of commodities, goods and services discussed in the Beijing talks.

Trump, who has accused China and other nations of exploiting the United States in global trade, has said he will raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports if no deal is reached by March 2. “We’re hopeful that we can make a deal with China,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox Business Network on Wednesday. “We expect something will come out of this. I don’t want to comment on what that will look like.”

She added that the Trump administration’s complaint that China is stealing U.S. intellectual property is “top of mind” in the negotiations with Beijing.
USTR also said the two sides discussed issues related to intellectual property protections and the need for any agreement to include “complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement.” Companies in both the United States and China are feeling the pain from the effects of the U.S.-China trade dispute. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rattled global markets last week when it cut its sales outlook, blaming weak demand in China.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed both sides had agreed to extend the talks beyond Monday and Tuesday as originally scheduled. Asked if that meant the talks had been difficult, Lu said: “I can only say that extending the consultations shows that the two sides were indeed very serious in conducting the consultations.”