Ahead of China trip, Lighthizer makes no predictions

Aaron Brown
May 3, 2018

The talks come after the recent trade tariffs imposed by Washington. The first salvos in the budding US-China trade conflict struck old school sectors such as steel and agriculture, but Beijing is now bracing for moves against its strategic ambition of becoming a global hi-tech behemoth.

A US trade delegation arrived in Beijing on Thursday for key talks over tariffs, with Chinese state media saying China will stand up to USA bullying if needed but that it was still better to hash things out around the negotiating table.

At stake are tariffs on billions of dollars of United States and Chinese goods, which, if imposed, could put a dent in humming global economic growth.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ross said Trump was prepared to levy tariffs on China if the delegation did not reach a negotiated settlement to reduce trade imbalances.

At the regular daily news briefing Wednesday, Hua confirmed the visit, saying that China welcomes the visit by the USA delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The U.S. visitors include Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro and new White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Mnuchin has said he's cautiously optimistic about the meetings in China.

"It's a big, big challenge".

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018.

Senior officials in Beijing will not discuss the two big asks coming from the White House, namely, to slash America's US$375 billion annual trade deficit with China by US$100 billion and to scale back subsidies to high-tech industries.

"Very much like North Korea, this should have been fixed years ago, not now.Great Potential for U.S.!"

Liu has been firm in his stance of addressing bilateral trade friction through talks.

The talks needed some give-and-take, the official China Daily said in a Wednesday editorial.

Last month, Washington banned Chinese telecom and smartphone giant ZTE from purchasing crucial United States components for seven years - threatening the company's survival - as punishment for breaking USA export controls.

"To tackle the next key problems in science and technology, we should abandon fantasies and rely on ourselves", Xi said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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