US Trade Team to Travel to China for Talks

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffery Gerrish will lead the Trump Administration's team to China for the talks.

The trade truce began after Trump met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires on December 1 and they agreed to hold off on further tariffs or retaliation for 90 days.

That call came after the two sides discussed "economic and trade issues" by phone earlier in that week, the ministry said.

The meeting adds to signs that the world's two largest economies are making progress in cooling trade tensions.

For months, the US and China have engaged in tit-for-tat increases in tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of exports flowing between the two countries. President Donald Trump has agreed to put on hold a scheduled increase in tariffs on some $200 billion in annual imports from China while the negotiations take place. China wants the U.S.to remove the punitive tariffs that have been imposed and not add new ones, but suspects the USA will ask for more before it agrees to do that, the people said. China also announced the suspension from January 1 to March 31, 2019, of 25 percent of the taxes applied to 144 products of the United States automotive sector and advanced new agreements in the fields of agriculture and energy. He is pushing the Asian nation to reduce trade barriers and stop alleged theft of intellectual property.

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"Even as the United States side is in the Christmas holiday period, China and USA economic and trade teams have been in close communication, and the consultations are progressing in an orderly manner as scheduled", Mr Gao said, when asked about progress on trade negotiations. Gao provided no date and said both countries continue to maintain close communication.

Since then, China has cut tariffs on vehicles imported from the U.S., resumed the purchase of soya from the North American country and submitted a draft law to prohibit forced technology transfers.

After returning from his Buenos Aires meeting with Xi, Trump said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be in charge of the China negotiations.

Gao did not give his response to the rumored scheduled visit of a US trade delegation on January 7 to China.

  • Darren Santiago