U.S., China End Latest Trade Talks Without Settlement

by Garry Watts June 3, 2018, 17:59
U.S., China End Latest Trade Talks Without Settlement

China says any trade and business deals will be void if the U.S. goes ahead with its threats of sanctions.

"To implement the consensus reached in Washington, the two sides have had good communication in various areas such as agriculture and energy, and have made positive and concrete progress", Xinhua reported, adding that "details" would be subject to "final confirmation by both parties".

"The United States will continue efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market", the White House statement read.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, second from left, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, fourth right, attend a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China Sunday, Jun 3, 2018.

The two-day talks in Beijing which ended on Sunday followed an earlier round in Washington where officials had met to discuss the situation.

A short statement, carried by the official Xinhua news agency, made no mention of any specific new agreements after U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese vice premier Liu He.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross, foreground, is in Beijing for trade talks after Washington ratcheted up tensions with a new threat of tariff hikes on Chinese high-tech exports.

The tone of the statement suggested that China's concessions at last month's talks in Washington were not enough for the Trump administration, says BBC Asia Business correspondent Karishma Vaswani. But the truce appeared to end with this week's announcement Washington was going ahead with tariff increases on technology goods and would also impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of United States hi-tech exports.

Liu offered the United States team a "special welcome" to Beijing for the talks.

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As the trade dispute threatened to blow up into a full scale "war", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under fire from the European Union at the Group of Seven, or G7, meeting of finance leaders in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler.

"I want to be clear, this isn't just about [China] buying more goods, this is about structural changes", Mnuchin said.

Beijing warned all the commitments it had made so far were premised on "not fighting a trade war".

On the Chinese side, officials including Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Central Bank Governor Yi Gang, Vice Agricultural Minister Han Jun, and Li Fanrong, vice minister of national energy administration, accompanied Liu in the talks, according to a media pool report.

Only two days ago, on Friday, steel and aluminium tariffs were imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

"There are structural changes that allow our companies to compete fairly".

On Saturday President Trump insisted on Twitter that the U.S. had been "ripped off by other countries for years on trade".

Trump also has threatened to raise tariffs on an additional US$100 billion of Chinese goods, but gave no indication this week whether that would go ahead.

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