Markets buoyed by optimism over US-China trade talks

US official says China trade talks ‘went just fine’ Posted

US official says China trade talks ‘went just fine’ Posted

Productive talks could be a boon to the economies of both countries, which spent most of 2018 mired in a trade war that imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each other's goods.

Global stocks also soared at the end of the two-day meeting in Beijing, where officials from both countries convened starting Monday to negotiate a deal that would potentially end a trade dispute that sent the stock market reeling through most of 2018.

China and the USA wrapped up three days of trade talks, with people familiar with the discussions saying their positions were closer on areas including energy and agriculture but further apart on harder issues.

China and the United States held a talk at the vice-ministerial level on economic and trade issues in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday, said a statement from the Ministry of Commerce. It said USA negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington. In a Tweet Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump said the talks were "going very well!".

America is seeking assurances that China will buy more products from the U.S.in order to reduce the trade deficit, and it wants a fairer playing field for USA companies that do business inside China, NPR has reported.

It softened its stand by offering a mix of concessions by resuming purchases of USA soybeans, suspended punitive tariffs on imports of U.S. cars and toned down its "Made in China 2025" plan, which aimed at breaking the country's reliance on foreign technology and pull its hi-tech industries up to western levels. 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. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to USA demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US -made cars, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

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USA stocks surged Wednesday on optimism that the midlevel talks in Beijing will be followed up with discussions between higher-ranking US and Chinese officials.

The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of US farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets. Investors were encouraged that talks planned for two days were extended to three.

Washington wants Beijing to change its plans to use government support to make Chinese companies world leaders in robotics and advanced technologies. "Without some progress already made, there would not be an extension to the negotiations", he told NPR. -China Business Council said in a statement.

"The U.S. feels uncomfortable with China's rapid development, and can't adapt to its own declining influence", wrote Chen Yonglong in the state-run China Daily".

Signals from the latest round of talks were upbeat, the Post report said. "Instead of making honest efforts to solve its domestic problems, it resorts to unilateralism and protectionism, breaks the rules-based worldwide order, coercing allies to accept unfair treaties, triggering trade frictions with China, and blocking technology transfer while trying to contain China's rise".

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