Trade war: China says USA talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute

Who claims what in the South China Sea

Other strategists have said the USA economy could even enter a technical recession if Trump does not fix the ongoing impasse on trade with China.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that the two sides would "maintain close contact", as renewed uncertainty cast a pall over share prices that had surged in anticipation of good news.

Today, a short statement was released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which ended by saying, "The delegation will now report back to receive guidance on the next steps".

"That shows both sides are serious about the talks", Lu said.

World markets rose Wednesday on increasing optimism that the two sides would be able to hammer out a deal ahead of a March deadline and avert further import tariff hikes - though Asian stocks were mostly down on Thursday.

The U.S. team in Beijing was led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, and included under secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from the White House.

The USTR also said the negotiations "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods and other products and services from the United States".

If talks continue to go well, a cabinet-level meeting is likely to happen before the end of the month. USA negotiators are no doubt using the new deadline of March 1 for raising the level of American tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to try to bully Beijing into meeting all U.S. demands.

They include changes to China's policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and other non-tariff barriers to trade. "Without some progress already made, there would not be an extension to the negotiations", he told NPR. Trump has been bullish on a possible agreement since before his breakthrough meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on December 1, and he tweeted on January 8 that "Talks with China are going very well!".

US President Donald Trump is increasingly eager to strike a deal with China soon in an effort to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over the trade war, according to people familiar with internal White House deliberations.

He had earlier warned that if a deal is not reached by March 1, the end of the 90-day grace period, the U.S. will increase the tariffs on the United States dollars 200 billions of goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. "I don't know the timing and exactly what that will look like, but what I can be sure of is that we are moving towards a more balanced and reciprocal trade agreement with China". Unfortunately, China's definition of what "should not and can not" be reformed has always included precisely the areas of most USA concern. US government data shows the Asian nation scooped up more than 2.6 million metric tons of beans in December and at least another 1.3 million were sold this year, according to people familiar with the matter. "However, we do not see the USA fully removing the specter of tariff hikes any time soon".

As Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper, noted on Twitter, trade issues were addressed "most smoothly".

Beijing's growing commercial and political ties with its neighbours will make it harder for Washington to find Asian countries willing to help it try to "contain China", the newspaper said. "We hope your company can become an in-depth participant in China's opening and a promoter of the stability of Chinese-U.S. relations".

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