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Sino-US talks on trade seen as productive

By JING SHUIYU,ZHONG NAN,REN XIAOJIN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-03 05:28
Vice-Premier Liu He (center) meets with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (right) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing during the 10th round of high-level
economic and trade consultations, which took place from Tuesday to Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Negotiators from two sides aim to meet next week in Washington to continue

Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met in Beijing from Tuesday to Wednesday for the 10th round of trade talks between China and the United States.

The two sides are working on putting bilateral trade on a stronger footing, and the latest meetings were productive, Mnuchin wrote on his Twitter account, without giving details.

A Chinese team is scheduled to visit Washington next week for another round of talks, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Liu is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue.

China and the US have been expediting their economic and trade consultations, with a goal of implementing the consensuses President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump reached in December, said Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the China Society for WTO Studies in Beijing.

China has made various moves recently to expand the new round of reform and opening-up — such as the approval of the Foreign Investment Law in March and further facilitating trade connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative. It will continue opening its market in a proactive, steady and orderly manner, in accordance with its own development needs and its own pace and timetable, to benefit Chinese and global consumers across the world, said Tu Xinquan, a professor of international trade at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

James Collins, CEO of Corteva Agriscience, the agricultural division of US-based DowDuPont, said he hopes the two countries will reach a positive resolution, to benefit both countries and the rest of the world. Collins said his firm was "not so much affected" in the short term by China-US trade tensions.

The company will consider adding employees, research and field development resources to expand in the Chinese market over the coming years, he said.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said last month that the two countries' negotiating teams are hashing out the text of a deal, including an enforcement mechanism, based on mutual respect and benefit. Both countries, the world's two biggest economies, have been intensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the ninth round of trade consultations, negotiators discussed technology transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, trade imbalances and enforcement mechanisms.

Trade between China and the US amounted to 815.86 billion yuan ($121.7 billion) in the first quarter of the year, an 11 percent year-on-year decline, according to the General Administration of Customs. In March, Sino-US trade climbed 0.1 percent to 291.35 billion yuan, according to the administration.

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