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Consultations to continue as China and US wrap up ninth round of trade talks

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The two sides’ top negotiators pose for pictures on Friday. Photo: AFP

Consultations to continue as China and US wrap up ninth round of trade talks

China and the US decided to continue their consultations regarding outstanding issues after they wrapped up their ninth round of high-level trade talks in Washington.

Experts and business leaders said China and the US are natural economic partners, and they hoped the two countries can come to a positive resolution.

The latest economic and trade talks ran from Wednesday to Friday.

The two sides discussed technology transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, trade imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, and they made progress in new areas, Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

Vice-Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief in the Chinese delegation within the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, met with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the talks.

China and the US have been expediting their economic and trade consultations with the goal of implementing consensuses reached by the countries’ leaders in December.

‘Benefit both sides’

China Center for International Economic Exchanges vice-president Wei Jianguo said it is urgent for China and the US to maintain closer contact to resolve their trade disputes.

He underscored the need for the two countries to align their interests, saying that would “benefit the consumers and companies of both sides and ensure world economic stability”.

He added that China and the US complement each other economically and have potential to cooperate in many sectors.

US-China Business Council president Craig Allen said China and the US are “very compatible economies” and need each other’s innovation.

“The potential is vast if we are able to work out an appropriate framework. That is exactly what our negotiators are talking about, and we are hopeful that they can reach a firm and long-term, stable conclusion.”

A recent report from global law firm Linklaters showed that inbound mergers and acquisitions in China hit a record high last year of $56 billion (23 per cent higher than 2017), with more than half of this related to the financial and real estate sectors.

US investors were, despite the continuing US-China trade tensions, estimated to be responsible for 34 per cent of this investment, the report said.

Trade tensions are considered a key factor in determining the nature of inbound investment. Linklaters global senior partner and chairman Charles Jacobs said he hopes that the world’s two largest economies can break their deadlock, which will be in both countries’ interests.

Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron Technology Inc, the US semiconductor giant, said he is hopeful that China and the US will resolve tensions and come to a resolution allowing the two countries and the global economy to move forward in a prosperous way for all.

“Our production in China continues to be very strong because it is used mainly to supply local clients, as well as clients around the world,” Mehrotra said. CHINA DAILY/ANN

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