China lowers expectations for United States trade talks

Daniel Fowler
October 10, 2019

Vice Premier Liu He and the rest of the high-level Chinese team arrived at the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at around 9 Washington.

"Big day of negotations with China". But a report by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post saying that preliminary talks for the meetings did not go well doused some of that enthusiasm.

White House denies it, this from a few minutes ago. Chinese and American negotiators are set to start meeting again in Washington on Thursday in the latest round of their so-far fruitless talks to strike a trade deal.

The delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu, will depart for China on Thursday at the conclusion of the talks. He says it is Trump who will want to drag out the negotiations.

The two sides have been at loggerheads over US demands that China improve protections of American intellectual property, end cyber theft and the forced transfer of technology to Chinese firms, curb industrial subsidies and increase USA companies' access to largely closed Chinese markets.

In a separate report, The Financial Times said China is offering to purchase 50 percent more USA agricultural products, raising its total to $30 billion annually.

The mood surrounding the talks soured this week when the USA government blacklisted 28 Chinese public security bureaus, technology and surveillance firms and imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials over allegations of abuses of Muslim minorities in China. "It requires a lot of preparation work and consensus on both sides".

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The US dollar was on track for its biggest daily drop in five weeks on Thursday against its rivals as the prospects of a partial trade deal between China and the United States fuelled appetite for trade-oriented currencies such as the euro and the Australian dollar.

"China is having a hard time at this moment".

The talks are expected to be held just days before Washington's planned increase of trade tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, from 25 percent to 30 percent on 15 October.

Markets over the prior 24 hours had pinned their hopes on media reports Beijing will propose a partial trade deal to prevent further escalation. -China currency pact reached in February that Mnuchin at the time called the "strongest" ever.

Trump - who has taken the global economy on a white-knuckle ride since launching multi-pronged trade offensives with China, Europe and other allies previous year - reiterated Thursday that the outcome was down to him. "But the reality is we have spent a lot of time on currency, and it'll be enforceable", he said in congressional testimony on February 27. The move soured the tone of the lower-level talks, which were meant to set the table for an actual trade agreement later in the week.

-With assistance from Saleha Mohsin, Livia Yap, Angus Whitley, Miao Han, Steven Yang and William Edwards.

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