US and Chinese officials are restarting negotiations in an effort to resolve the year-long trade dispute, with two days of talks due next week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday. The dialogue in Shanghai on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the first face-to-face meetings since negotiations collapsed in May after President Donald Trump accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments. Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead the US delegation.
The White House said in a statement the talks, with Vice Premier Liu He, will cover a range of issues, including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, the trade deficit and enforcement. Senior officials have spoken by phone twice in the last two weeks in the bid to jump start the negotiations. Mnuchin said on CNBC he hopes to make progress but added there are a lot of issues pending so he expects another round of talks would follow in Washington.
At a meeting in Japan last month, US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to cease further hostilities in the year-long trade war while the two sides worked to revive negotiations. The countries have imposed tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade and Trump has threatened even more punishing duties on Chinese goods. —VoM
That truce halted Trump’s plan to hit China with another round of punishing tariffs on $300 billion in goods. The International Monetary Fund warned that that step added to existing tariffs would cut global economic growth by 0.5 percent. Washington is demanding Beijing end theft of American technology, and open its economy further to imported goods and foreign investment.
Stock markets were cheered when word of possible talks emerged Tuesday but the good news was overshadowed Wednesday by disappointing earnings results from Boeing and Caterpillar which specifically pointing to weakening demand in China.
The Trump administration plans to handle applications from tech companies seeking waivers over Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s blacklisting within the next few weeks, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg Television. We will deal with them very promptly, Ross said in an interview. There are 50-some-odd applications from 35 companies that have been received, and within the next couple of weeks we expect to have verdicts. Pressed on whether they would be completed in two weeks, Ross said: “I said within the next few weeks, few.
Ross’s comments came a day after President Donald Trump told the heads of top technology companies at the White House meeting that the administration would make timely decisions on requests by US companies to sell products to Huawei. American companies were banned from selling most US parts and components to Huawei without special licenses because of national security concerns. But Trump said last month that sales could resume as he sought to restart trade talks with Beijing.
Ross said the technology company officials who gathered at the White House understood the process the administration was following and voiced no complaint about it. He said granting the waivers was an interagency process, involving the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy. This is not a simple thing, but in general the principle we will be following … is things that are not sensitive from a national security point of view, we’re going to be looking pretty favorably upon, Ross said.
Those that are sensitive are in a different category and we have to be very, very careful about them. Asked about the possibility of additional sanctions following a Washington Post report that the Chinese company had helped North Korea build its wireless network, Ross said the administration was monitoring Huawei’s activities. We are continuing to watch very carefully everything about Huawei, including the information revealed in that article yesterday. But beyond that, we can’t really comment on a pending investigation, he said.