China-US talks begin to sort out trade differences

World

12 Dec 2018

China and US begin talks to sort out trade differences

Top officials from the US and China have begun talks to sort out their trade differences, in particular, to identify steps that address the concerns of US President Donald Trump on intellectual property and reduce the balance of trade, a media report said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held a teleconference with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He Monday night.

US-Sino ties

Great progress was being made, reported Trump

Great progress was being made, reported Trump

Yesterday morning, Trump, without referring to the teleconference, reported that great progress was being made.

About two weeks ago, Trump and Xi Jinping met in Argentina on the sidelines of G20 Summit.

The two leaders, then, agreed to come out with a solution in the next 90 days. Till then, Trump agreed to give a pause to his additional import tariffs on Chinese products.

Progressive steps

Despite differences, China agreed to reduce auto tariffs, buy American-products

"Very productive conversations going on with China! Watch for some important announcements!" Trump said in a tweet the morning after the first of the talks were held between officials of the two countries.

According to The Wall Street Journal, sharp differences remain between the two countries, but China has agreed to take a few measures like reducing auto tariffs and buying more American products.

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Watch for some important announcements: Trump

Media report

US preparing additional measures against China: The Wall Street Journal

US preparing additional measures against China: The Wall Street Journal

"On the auto front, Mr. Liu said Beijing would reduce tariffs on US autos to 15%, down from 40%, said people familiar with the call," the daily reported.

It was not clear when the change would take effect, but Washington was pushing Beijing to make the concessions as soon as possible, it added.

It said the US was preparing additional measures against China.

Measures

Additional measures against China may include export control, indictments

The additional measures against China may include export controls, indictments and other tools to counter the theft of intellectual property.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about Chinese firms using American technology.

Issue

China Orient used third parties to evade US export-control-laws: Journal

China Orient used third parties to evade US export-control-laws: Journal

Menendez asked Mnuchin and Ross to explain how a Chinese state-owned firm was able to use offshore companies to potentially acquire restricted American technology.

According to a December 4 article in The Wall Street Journal, the China Orient used subsidiaries and offshore third parties to evade US export-control laws and acquire a majority stake in a US company seeking to purchase a US-made satellite.

Details

Menendez asked secretaries to answer 13 detailed questions on transactions

Menendez sent to the secretaries a list of 13 detailed questions about the transaction and urged them to provide briefings on any review of the deal.

"Failure to review this and other similarly-situated transactions, in which Chinese state-owned entities may gain footholds in sensitive technologies, poses a significant threat to the US national security," the Democratic Senator said.

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