US, China extend talks on trade battle

Who claims what in the South China Sea

Who claims what in the South China Sea

The meetings in Beijing were the first formal trade negotiations between the two sides since President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce at the G20 summit in Argentina last month.

Meanwhile on the trade talks, sources said the two sides were still far apart from United States demands for structural reforms in China.

A Chinese government spokesman says three days of talks with USA envoys aimed at ending a costly tariff battle have ended, but no details were immediately released. They have tried to defuse pressure for more sweeping change by offering trade concessions including purchasing more American soybeans, natural gas and other exports.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there is "a very good chance" that the United States and China will reach a trade agreement.

The talks went ahead despite tensions over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on US charges she misled multinational banks about her company's business dealings in Iran.

The US smartphone maker has felt the pinch of the bruising trade spat, and warned that 2018 revenues would miss its forecast - in large part due to a slump in iPhone sales in China.

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has led previous in-person trade meetings for the U.S. Those meetings have included top U.S. trade officials including Commerce Sec. But economists say that is too little time to resolve issues that have disrupted U.S.

If further talks are planned, details will be included in an upcoming announcement, Lu said.

Should China reform its regulation policies to allow more USA access to its markets, US negotiators want guarantees that they won't erase newfound openness by using government authority to block American companies.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the two sides were narrowing their differences, with Chinese officials offering greater purchases of U.S. goods and services and Cabinet-level follow-up meetings expected later this month.

Asked about the timing of the operation during trade talks, Lu said resolving issues would help both countries and the world.

"These issues are much more hard to solve immediately but are, frankly, much more compelling to US companies", said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the US-China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business with China.

Trump has imposed tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.

Officials have given scant details on concessions that China might be willing to make to meet USA demands, some of which would require structural reforms unpalatable for Chinese leaders.

The talks are occurring as Chinese growth - 6.5 percent in the July-to-September period - fell to its lowest point in a decade. The bearish pressure on United States greenback eased further in European market hours today on increased investor expectations for positive outcome in Sino-U.S trade talks.

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter but surveys show consumer confidence weakening.

On Monday, Chinese importers made another large purchase of U.S. soybeans, their third in the past month.

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