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US and China Resume Trade Talks in Beijing After “Productive Working Dinner”

WASHINGTON – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he had organized a “productive working dinner” the night before in Beijing, to begin a day of talks to resolve the bitter trade dispute between the two largest economies of the world, CNBC reported Friday.
Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were in the Chinese capital for the first face-to-face meeting between the two parties a few weeks after they missed the initial goal of a summit between US President Donald Trump and the President Chinese Xi Jinping, scheduled for the end of March.
“We had a very productive working dinner last night and we can not wait to meet today,” Mnuchin said as he left his hotel to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is due to travel to Washington on weekdays to continue the discussions.
Mnuchin did not specify and it was not clear with whom he had dined Thursday night.
Trump last year imposed $250 billion on Chinese imports to force China to change its trade relations with the rest of the world and further open its economy to US companies.
On Thursday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that Beijing would significantly expand market access for foreign banks, insurance companies and security companies, adding that China may soon announce new rules to allow foreign financial firms to access foreign markets to increase their presence in the country.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the US could drop some tariffs if a trade deal is struck, while maintaining others to ensure Beijing’s compliance.
“We will not give up our influence,” he told reporters in Washington on Thursday.
Mnuchin and Lighthizer welcomed Liu’s wait at the Diaoyutai State Guest House shortly before Friday at 9:00 am (01:00) for what the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has announced is a full day of discussions.
Trump is calling on Beijing to put an end to practices that, according to Washington, would result in the systematic theft of US intellectual property and the forced transfer of American technology to Chinese companies.
US companies say they are often pressured to turn their technology know-how to Chinese partners, joint ventures, local officials or regulators as a prerequisite for doing business in China.
The US government claims that the technology is often subsequently transferred to and used by Chinese competitors.
The issue proved difficult for the negotiators, with the US authorities claiming that China had previously refused to acknowledge that the problem existed in the measure alleged by the United States, which complicated the discussion.
China says that its laws do not provide for any technology transfer obligations and that such transfers result from legitimate transactions.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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