US, China end new round of trade talks in a no decision

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The latest round of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China seems to have ended with no progress.

Envoys for both countries met Wednesday for talks aimed at ending a tariff war after President Donald Trump rattled financial markets by accusing Beijing of trying to stall in hopes he will fail to win re-election in 2020.

The meeting ended about 40 minutes ahead of schedule.

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Neither delegation spoke to reporters before U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left for the airport.

The two sides discussed topics such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture. The Chinese side confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of United States agricultural exports, accoridng to a White House statement.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue in Washington, D.C., in early September.

Economists had said quick breakthroughs were unlikely because the two governments face the same disagreements over China’s technology policy and trade surplus that caused talks to break down in May.

Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume negotiations but neither has given any sign of offering big concessions.

The dispute over U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology has battered exporters on both sides and disrupted trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment. Trump has raised tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports while Beijing responded by taxing $110 billion of U.S. products.

Chinese leaders are resisting U.S. pressure to roll back plans for government-led development of industry leaders in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Washington complains those efforts depend on stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology.

For their part, American negotiators are reluctant to cede to Chinese demands that punitive U.S. tariffs be lifted immediately. Trump wants to keep some penalties in place to ensure Beijing carries out any agreement.

In Washington, Trump accused Beijing of wanting to stall through the 2020 presidential election in hopes of being able to negotiate with a more malleable Democrat.

He said that if reelected, he would get “much tougher” with Beijing. Separately on Twitter, Trump warned that if he wins in 2020, “the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all.”

Asian stock markets tumbled Wednesday after Trump’s comments.

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The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.7%, Hong Kong’s market benchmark dropped 1.3% and Tokyo lost 0.9%.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Source: Fox Business

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