Washington – The United States and China will hold new rounds of trade talks in Beijing and Washington in the coming days, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
The US negotiators, led by Foreign Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will travel to Beijing for a round that will begin on April 30.
For his part, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be in Washington for further meetings beginning May 8.
“The issues of the negotiations over the next few weeks will cover trade issues, such as intellectual property, forced transfers of technology, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases and compliance,” the White House said.
The delegations will be seen for the third and fourth time since a meeting at the end of February in Washington after which US President Donald Trump said they were “very close to the trade agreement” with China.
Trump went so far as to suggest that he and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, would give the blessing to the pact at a summit in his Mar-a-Lago, his Florida mansion, before the end of March.
More cautiously, in the last round held in early April in Washington, Trump said his team was “very close” to reaching an agreement and hoped to know in “the next four weeks” if he could schedule the summit with Xi.
USA and China have been negotiating since December to try to contain the trade war in which they were implicated last year as a result of the protectionist agenda of Trump, who has harshly criticized the trade policies of the Asian giant.
Trump warned at the end of last year that, if he did not reach an agreement with China before March 1, he would raise China’s 200 billion dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese imports from the current 10% to 25%.
That deadline has finally extended beyond that deadline, and the talks have picked up pace, with a visit to Beijing last week by a US delegation, followed by this trip to Washington by Liu and his team.
Since December, Beijing has adopted goodwill measures, such as lowering tariffs on vehicles imported from the US, resuming the purchase of soybeans or submitting a bill to prohibit the forced transfer of technology.
But, as a condition for not increasing its tariffs to China, which affect everything from textiles and food to fuel, Washington also wants Beijing to commit to structural changes in its economy to, among other things, protect the intellectual property of American companies. (EFEUSA)