US expects China's top trade negotiator to visit 'most likely' this month

2019-01-11 01:51:30 GMT2019-01-11 09:51:30(Beijing Time) Sina English

U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator may visit Washington this month, signaling that higher-level discussions are likely to follow this week's talks with officials in Beijing as the world's two largest economies try to hammer out a deal to end a tariff war.

"The current intent is that the Vice Premier Liu He will most likely come and visit us later in the month and I would expect the government shutdown would have no impact," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Thursday in Washington. "We will continue with those meetings just as we sent a delegation to China."

The U.S. government is in the 20th day of a partial shutdown with President Donald Trump, a Republican, and congressional Democrats feuding over funding and Trump's desire for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Talks are viewed as important for making the key decisions to ease a festering trade war, which has disrupted trade flows for hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and roiled global markets.

Trump on Thursday said the United States was having "tremendous success" in its trade negotiations with China.

More than halfway through a 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war agreed on Dec 1 when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Argentina, there have been few details provided of any progress made.

China's commerce ministry said on Thursday that additional consultations with the United States were being arranged after the Beijing talks addressed structural issues and helped establish a foundation to resolve U.S. and Chinese concerns.

Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters the two sides were "serious" and "honest."

Asked about China's stance on issues such as forced technology transfers, intellectual property rights, non-tariff barriers and cyber attacks, and whether China was confident it could reach agreement with the United States, Gao said these issues were "an important part" of the Beijing talks.

"There has been progress in these areas," he said without elaborating.

Agencies

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