Jul 25, 2019 03:55 AM

China, U.S. Trade Negotiators to Resume Face-to-Face Talks

U.S. and Chinese officials will hold their first face-to-face meeting in Shanghai since May, the White House said. Photo: VCG
U.S. and Chinese officials will hold their first face-to-face meeting in Shanghai since May, the White House said. Photo: VCG

High-level trade officials from China and the United States will return to the negotiating table for the first time since May to seek a resolution of the standoff between the world’s two largest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin will travel to Shanghai to “resume negotiations aimed at improving the trade relationship between the U.S. and China,” the White House said Wednesday in a statement.

Vice Premier Liu He will lead the Chinese delegation. Talks will begin July 30, according to the statement.

The discussions will cover a range of issues, including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, nontariff barriers, agriculture, services, the trade deficit, and enforcement, the White House said.

This will be the first face-to-face meeting between trade representatives from the two sides since the last round of talks ended fruitlessly in May. Tensions have since escalated with a U.S. tariff increase on $250 billion a year of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate. The U.S. government in May also put Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on a so-called entity list, in effect banning U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

At the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to restart trade talks. Trump also agreed to allow U.S. companies to resume doing business with Huawei, although the company has remained on the entity list.

Following the G-20 meeting, trade officials of the two countries said they have maintained communications and spoken on the phone.

Both sides have since made some goodwill moves. Earlier this week, the U.S. said it would offer exemptions from tariffs on 110 Chinese products, including medical equipment and key electronic components. China said several domestic companies applied for exemptions from China’s duties on American agricultural products.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow voiced optimism Tuesday on the revival of discussions. Lighthizer has emphasized that the U.S. wants to “go back to where we were in early May, when we had been moving very nicely, perhaps only 10% left to be negotiated,” Kudlow said.

Chinese officials have reiterated that the U.S. must remove all punitive tariffs if a deal is to be reached. At a regular press conference Wednesday, Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to questions said briefly that the two sides have exchanged views on further consultations and stayed in communication.

Expectations for the resumption of trade talks pushed up the Dow Jones Industrial Average Tuesday by 0.7%. The index slid Wednesday dragged down by weak economic data and mixed corporate results following a jump shortly after the opening. The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.7% Tuesday to close back above 3,000.

Contact reporter Han Wei (

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