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US to push China for better deal as trade talks set to resume

Wang, Talks, Trade, Treasury, Late August
After talks broke down two months ago, China now plans to send Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen to the US in late August to resume them

Wang will resume the talks late August with David Malpass, undersecretary for international affairs at the US Treasury Department.

President Donald Trump had urged China to offer more at the bargaining table as the two countries prepared for their first major negotiation in more than two months– in an effort to avoid an all-out trade war.

“We’re talking to China, they very much want to talk,” Trump stated Thursday at a cabinet meeting at the White House. “They just are not able to give us an agreement that is acceptable, so we’re not going to do any deal until we get one that’s fair to our country.”

“It’s a good thing that they’re sending a delegation here — we haven’t had that in quite some time,” told Larry Kudlow, National Economic Council Director to the CNBC on Thursday.

“The Chinese government in its totality must not underestimate President Trump’s toughness and willingness to continue this battle to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers and quotas to stop the theft of intellectual property and to stop the forced transfer of technology.” He added.

Kudlow further said the Chinese economy and currency “are slipping, as you all know, but let’s just see what happens.” He emphasised that discussions tend to produce better outcomes than expected—and that talking was always a better option.

This will be fourth round of formal talks since trade tensions flared this year, but the first session since early June.

“This will be ‘talks about trade talks,’” said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at the Bank of China’s Institute of International Finance in Beijing. “Lower-level officials will meet and haggle and see if there is a possibility for higher-level talks.”

To restart trade negotiations with the U.S., China must offer a package of measures, according to Jacob Parker, the vice president for China operations for the U.S.-China Business Council in Beijing.

He stated that China needs to make a better offer that slashes the bilateral trade surplus, lowers import tariffs, provides better protection for intellectual property and stop forced technology transfers.

The two nations had seemingly appeared to have reached a deal in May after Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser — led a group of officials to Washington. But Trump backed away from the agreement soon afterward, and ever since the two sides have been locked in a standoff as they slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

The Trump administration already imposed duties on $34 bn of Chinese goods last month, a move that prompted immediate retaliation from Beijing. Levies on another $16 bn in goods take effect August 23.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office stated on Thursday it had extended its public hearings on its proposal to impose tariffs on $200 bn of Chinese goods to six days starting August 20, from four days initially.

As many as 370 people are expected to testify. The tariffs that China has vowed to retaliate against by levying duties on $60 bn of U.S. goods, can take effect after a public comment period closes on September 6.

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