U.S.-China trade talks conclude as hopes of a deal build
EghtesadOnline: Chinese and U.S. teams ended trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday that lasted longer than expected and officials said details will be released soon, raising hopes an all-out trade war that could badly disrupt the global economy can be avoided.
The talks were extended into an unscheduled third day, showing both sides were “serious”, China’s foreign ministry said.
Share prices jumped in Asia and markets in Europe and the United States were expected to follow suit as the longer talks fueled optimism that the world’s largest economies were inching toward an agreement, Reuters reported.
Ted McKinney, U.S. under secretary of agriculture for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said the U.S. trade delegation would return to the United States later on Wednesday after a “good few days”.
“I think they went just fine,” McKinney said of the talks.
“It’s been a good one for us,” he told reporters at the delegation’s hotel, without elaborating.
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.”
This week’s meetings are the first face-to-face talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.
The editor of a state-run Chinese newspaper said in a social media post he expected China and the United States to release statements early on Thursday.
“From what I know, the trade talks, though arduous, were conducted in a pleasant and candid atmosphere. Neither side has made a briefing, because the U.S. delegation is on the plane now,” wrote Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.
“The two sides will release messages at the same time on Thursday morning Beijing time,” Hu said.
The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities and increased access to China’s markets.
If no deal is reached by March 2, Trump has said he will proceed with raising tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, at a time when China’s economy is slowing significantly. Beijing has retaliated in turn to U.S. tariffs.
But as meetings wound down in Beijing on Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted: “Talks with China are going very well!”
The U.S. team is led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, and includes under secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from the White House.
China is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States but will not make any “unreasonable concessions” and any agreement must involve compromise on both sides, state newspaper the China Daily said on Wednesday.
The paper said in an editorial that Beijing’s stance remained firm that the dispute harms both countries and disrupts the international trade order and supply chains.
In what was widely seen as a goodwill gesture, China on Tuesday issued long-awaited approvals for the import of five genetically modified crops, which could boost its purchases of U.S. grains as farmers decide which crops to plant in the spring.
On Monday, Chinese importers made another large purchase of U.S. soybeans, their third in the past month.