(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 9, 2017, China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. US President Donald Trump on December 29, 2018 touted "big progress" after a phone call with his Chinese counterpart on trade, after the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies helped rattle markets.
AFP/Fred Dufour
US negotiators in Beijing for trade war talks
Ryan Mcmorrow (Agence France-Presse) - January 7, 2019 - 3:33pm

BEIJING, China — US negotiators on Monday headed into talks with Chinese counterparts as the two countries seek a deal to end a trade war that has raised fears of global economic turmoil.

The visiting delegation, led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, left its hotel in Beijing without speaking to reporters.

President Donald Trump raised hopes last week that an agreement could be found to end the months-long dispute, during which the world's top two economies have imposed import duties on more than $300 billion of each other's goods.

"I think we will make a deal with China," Trump said on Friday.

"We have a massive trade negotiation going on with China. President Xi (Jinping) is very much involved, so am I. We're dealing at the highest levels and we're doing very well."

Trump on Sunday headed to the US presidential retreat at Camp David, where he said he would discuss a trade deal with China with senior aides, among other issues.

The American delegation in Beijing includes officials from the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy departments.

The talks come a month after Trump and Xi agreed to suspend a planned tariff hike for three months to give negotiators space to reach an agreement and end a dispute that has roiled world markets.

The ratcheting dispute has pummelled confidence in China, sending the stock markets tumbling while the yuan has fallen against the dollar.

In addition to the bruising trade war, China is also grappling with a slowing domestic economy, with growth slowing to 6.5 percent in the third quarter, as a battle against debt has ramped up.

The government has set a growth target of around 6.5 percent for 2018, down from 6.9 percent in 2017.

No 'white flag'

The manufacturing sectors in both countries have been hit by the trade dispute, with China's contracting last month for the first time in over two years, according to official data.

But in a sign of how interconnected the two economies are, Apple shares dropped last week after the tech giant reported steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in the last quarter in China -- one of its largest overseas markets.

The negotiators will discuss "implementing the important consensus" reached by Trump and Xi in December, China's commerce ministry said last week.

The Beijing talks follow small signs of progress -- and the absence of new threats from Trump -- while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.

Trump initiated the hostilities because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices -- concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

The president has taken heart in China's faltering economy, repeating that it makes Beijing more likely to strike a deal.

An editorial in the nationalist state-owned tabloid the Global Times on Monday said China would not back down and cave to US demands. 

"If Beijing had wanted to raise the white flag, it would have done so already," it said.

CHINA UNITED STATES US TRADE WAR WITH CHINA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 19, 2019 - 12:00pm

US President Donald Trump says North American neighbors Canada and Mexico will get no relief from his new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports unless a "new and fair" free trade agreement is signed.

The Trump administration says the tariffs are necessary to preserve the American industries—and that doing so is a national security imperative. But Trump's latest tweets suggest he's also using the upcoming tariffs as leverage in ongoing talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. The latest round of a nearly year-long renegotiation effort is concluding this week in Mexico City. — Associated Press

October 19, 2019 - 12:00pm

Washington calls for action from other major world powers to spur economic growth, avoiding mention of the US-China trade war and blaming the current global slowdown on excess savings, flagging investment in China and Europe in particular.

In a statement at the conclusion of annual meetings by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the US economy stands out on the world stage and is primed for faster growth thanks to the tax cuts and regulatory reforms championed by President Donald Trump.

Mnuchin's remarks ran counter to urgent warnings this week from the IMF, which said the US-China trade war would shave 0.8 percent from the world economy next year alone and was eating into business investment in the United States. — AFP

October 8, 2019 - 11:01am

President Donald Trump says he would prefer to strike a comprehensive trade bargain with China, in comments days before top US and Chinese officials are due to resume trade talks in Washington.

But with little sign the two sides have made progress in bridging the distance between them, speculation has mounted in recent months they may reach a deal which addresses only some of Washington's extensive grievances.

"I think it's not what we prefer at all. My inclination is to get a big deal," Trump tells reporters when asked if he could accept a partial agreement. — AFP

September 26, 2019 - 4:55pm

Beijing expresses "strong dissatisfaction" after the United States announced sanctions on Chinese companies for buying Iranian oil.

China, which is embroiled in a trade war as well as myriad other disputes with Washington, is believed to be the biggest foreign buyer of Iranian oil.

Speaking to a pressure group opposed to the Iranian regime on the sidelines of the United Nations, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the actions were in response to violations of unilateral US sanctions. — AFP

September 20, 2019 - 5:37pm

Asian markets edge up as investors turn their attention to the China-US trade talks, while keeping an eye on the Gulf region after last week's air strikes on Saudi oil facilities fanned geopolitical tensions.

With a delegation from China in the US to prepare for higher-level negotiations next month, there are hopes the economic powerhouses can find a solution to their tariffs row that has dragged on the global economy for a year.

Stock markets have enjoyed a broadly positive September thanks to hopes for the talks, with both sides appearing to offer olive branches and sounding less confrontational than they did in July and August. — AFP

September 17, 2019 - 12:21pm

A Chinese vice finance minister will visit the United States on Wednesday to lay the groundwork for trade talks next month, state media says.

The United States and China have been embroiled in a bruising trade war for more than a year but they have eased off some of their tit-for-tat tariffs ahead of negotiations in October.

The official Xinhua news agency says vice finance minister Liao Min will lead a delegation visiting the United States on Wednesday to "pave the way" for the higher level talks. — AFP

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