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Trump says US-China trade talks "going very well"



The latest round of US-China trade talks will conclude with President Trump's White House meeting Friday with the leader of the Chinese negotiating team.

Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He heads the delegation in a 13th round of talks with US Trade Representative Robert Laitheizer and Finance Secretary Steven Muncin.

Trump offered an optimistic assessment of the latest round of talks.

Expectations were low that negotiations would do much to resolve the 15-month trade battle weighing on the global economy.

But as the first of two expected talks ended on Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House, "We're doing very well … We'll see them tomorrow, right here, and doing very well."

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The world's two largest economies are at a standstill over US claims that China is stealing technology and pressuring foreign companies to surrender their trade secrets as part of a sharp drive to become a world leader in advanced industries such as robotics and driving cars. .

Under Trump, the United States has cut Chinese import tariffs to more than $ 360 billion and plans to reach another 160 by December 15. China has returned from targeting about $ 120 billion in the United States, focusing on agricultural products.

The high cost of tariffs and the uncertainty as to when and how the trade war will end have led to economic toll, especially for manufacturing companies. A private survey last week found that US factory production fell to its lowest level since 2009, when the economy was in deep recession.

Liu met with leaders of the United States Chambers of Commerce and the US-China Business Council on Thursday. Liu told Chinese negotiators "are coming in with great sincerity" and were ready to discuss trade balance, market access and investor protection, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The report does not mention a willingness to discuss Chinese industrial and technological policy, a major irritant that triggered a tariff war.

It is hoped that the productive meeting will convince the Trump administration to cancel or postpone plans next Tuesday to increase tariffs on $ 250 billion in Chinese imports from 25 percent to 30 percent.

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However, Beijing did not want to make the kind of substantial policy reforms that would please Washington. That would probably need to return the Chinese leaders' aspirations for technological competitiveness that they see as crucial to their country's future prosperity.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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