U.S., China to hold ministerial trade talks next week in Beijing

WASHINGTON, Kyodo - The United States and China will hold ministerial-level trade negotiations from next Tuesday in Beijing, and from May 8 in Washington, in an effort to end a tit-for-tat tariff war between the two countries, the White House said Tuesday.

“The subjects of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement,” it said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for the upcoming meeting, while a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He will pay a return visit to Washington for further talks, according to the White House.

The two sides have held several rounds of talks to end their protracted trade war, which has roiled world markets and affected global growth.

The world’s two biggest economies have been trying to map out an agreement about what Washington calls Beijing’s unfair trade practices, including alleged intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and currency devaluation.

The United States is calling for structural changes in the Chinese economy, ranging from halting such practices to cutting the massive U.S. trade deficit with China and reducing Chinese subsidies to state-owned enterprises.

The two sides have been at odds over an enforcement mechanism for a trade agreement they are negotiating. It is not yet known whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration will use tariffs as an enforcement tool.

Trump has indicated the administration will leave U.S. tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods even after reaching a deal. Beijing has pushed for the removal of duties as part of an agreement. (Kyodo)

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