After Latest US-China Talks, Where Does the Trade Truce Stand?

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After Latest US-China Talks, Where Does the Trade Truce Stand?

The talks that started Monday were the first face-to-face meeting since Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed December 1 to suspend further punitive action against each other's imports for 90 days while they negotiate over the fight sparked by American complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. That includes giving specific dates for making purchases, and making assurances that Beijing won't hinder USA companies from gaining access to China's market.

Most Asian markets have opened lower after China and the USA wrapped up trade talks without indicating if they made progress on resolving a dispute over Chinese technology policies that has the world's two biggest economies embroiled in a bruising trade war.

USA farmers and global seed companies have long complained about Beijing's slow and unpredictable process for approving GM crops for import, stoking trade tensions between the two sides.

A statement released by China's Commerce Ministry on Thursday morning said both sides carried out "wide, deep and thorough exchanges" on trade and structural issues of mutual concern.

In March, when the tariff tit-for-tat was in its infancy, President Trump suggested the USA might impose up to $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Washington has called on Beijing to make structural reforms that address state-sponsored intellectual-property theft, discriminatory policies that favor domestic firms over foreign ones, and other unfair trade practices. Without a breakthrough in talks, USA corporations are likely to experience a deepening decline in their Chinese sales, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts even seeing an "informal boycott" in place.

The two sides agreed to keep close contact, according to the statement.

The talks are taking longer than expected as the Chinese commerce ministry had said last week that the meetings would take place on Monday and Tuesday.

An official Chinese newspaper warned Washington not to demand too much from Beijing as talks on ending their tariff war wound up a second day Tuesday with no word on possible progress.

Should China reform its regulation policies to allow more USA access to its markets, US negotiators want guarantees that they won't erase newfound openness by using government authority to block American companies. He and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to hold off on further tariff increases for 90 days to allow time for negotiations.

Trade negotiations between US-China mid-level officials seem to have taken a favorable turn.

"Amid high hopes that world's two large economies will reach an agreement in the trade talks, stocks in Europe saw large gains on Wednesday".

The US guided-missile destroyer McCampbell sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea as officials of both the countries kicked off their first face-to-face talks here to resolve the trade dispute during which the world's top two economies have imposed import duties on more than Dollars 300 billion of each other's goods.

While Chinese goods going to the USA initially held up in the face of higher tariffs due to so-called front-loading, their value slumped in the final quarter of 2018, according to the latest available data. China retaliated with tariffs of its own.

The results of the talks would be analysed at a separate meeting between U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He.

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