US, China to hold talks on trade dispute in Washington next week

Jeannie Matthews
March 31, 2019

China had made a basket of unprecedented proposals over the recent leg of trade talks with the United States on a wide-ranging issue such as forced technology transfer, which had always been the talking point for both sides, as the two sides had been working on to cross the remaining hurdles to conclude their over-stretched trade war, USA trade officials told on Wednesday, the 27th of March 2019. After the latest round of face-to-face talks, Chinese negotiators frustrated US officials by sending back text on IP with entire sections crossed out that had been agreed to by Lighthizer and Liu, people familiar with the situation said.

"We are getting close, but we are not there yet", Kudlow said.

Proposals by the Chinese have been preposterous inclusive of technological transfers than it has done before, said one of the four senior USA administration officials.

The focus on the joint wording has become a key issue after US officials complained that Chinese versions of the text had walked back or omitted commitments made by negotiators, the unnamed officials said. "We're not talking about removing [tariffs], we're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time, because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal", Trump told reporters on the White House lawn, according to CNBC.

Analysts had anticipated the scope of this round of talks, which wrapped up about 24 hours after the USA delegation arrived, to be quite narrow, but that both countries hoped to signal they were working hard toward a resolution.

The agenda of the discussions included the contentious issue of tariffs, skewed trade balance between the two countries, forced transfer of technology, protection of intellectual property rights and restrictions on foreign investments.

On Thursday, Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing would sharply expand market access for foreign banks and securities and insurance companies, fuelling speculation that China may soon announce new rules allowing foreign financial firms to increase their presence.

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Kudlow said on Thursday the United States may drop some tariffs if a trade deal is reached, while keeping others in place to ensure Beijing's compliance. Intellectual property and deal enforcement reportedly remain contentious.

The United States is demanding wide changes to Chinese industrial policy, including an end to large-scale state intervention in markets, subsidies for various industries and the alleged theft of American technology.

Trade between the two nations has been the main issue for Wall Street as investors fear a prolonged war between the world's largest economies could hinder corporate profits and economic growth.

According to China's state media, the text of the trade deal was discussed during the two-day meeting aimed at resolving a trade dispute between two sides.

US companies say they are often pressured into handing over technological know-how to Chinese joint venture partners, local officials or regulators as a condition for doing business in China.

China says its laws enshrine no requirements on technology transfers that are a result of legitimate transactions.

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