Caixin
Jan 04, 2019 07:37 PM
ECONOMY

China, U.S. Negotiators to Meet Next Week for Trade Talks

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Chinese and the U.S. negotiators will next week hold their first face-to-face talks since Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed on a truce to their trade war last month, the Ministry of Commerce said Friday, in a sign that working-level negotiations are gaining traction.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead a delegation to China on Monday and Tuesday, with the goal of having “positive and constructive discussions with the Chinese side’s working group on implementing the important agreements reached by the two countries’ heads of state at their Argentina meeting,” an unnamed ministry spokesperson said in a statement (link in Chinese).

The visit was confirmed Friday during a phone discussion between vice ministerial-level officials from the two countries, the statement said.

Chinese and U.S. officials have held several rounds of talks over the phone since Xi and Trump called a truce in the trade war, with the goal of reaching a long-term agreement by an early March deadline. But they have yet to meet in person to have more lengthy and detailed negotiations. The visit by Gerrish provides evidence that bilateral negotiations to resolve the trade tensions are moving forward.

Over the past month, China has resumed importing U.S. soybeans, temporarily slashed punitive tariffs on U.S.-made cars and auto parts, and announced a new crackdown on intellectual property rights infringement, all moves to address Washington’s concerns and advance a trade deal.

Trump last week said he was expecting “big progress” in trade negotiations with China after a “long and very good call” with Xi.

“Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute,” he said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Big progress being made!”

Contact reporter Fran Wang (fangwang@caixin.com)

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