US, China trade talks to begin in Beijing
Beijing: The US and China will begin a fresh round of talks in Beijing on Tuesday as they seem to edge closer to resolve their damaging trade dispute.
The US delegation will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin while the Chinese side will be represented by Vice Premier Liu He, the US media reported.
Talks have dragged on for months, with both sides struggling to agree on key issues.
The two sides are seeking to end a bitter trade war that began last year as a result of US President Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda and his criticism of China’s trade policies.
The US, which accuses China of unfair trading practices, imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products in 2018. Beijing retaliated with duties on $110 billion worth of American products.
Tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods were due to more than double at the beginning of the year, increasing from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
But both countries agreed to suspend tit-for-tat tariffs after they struck a truce in December and began negotiations to work towards a deal.
Trump recently said Washington and Beijing had agreed on “a lot of the most difficult points” but that “we have some ways to go”.
Sticking points in negotiations include how a deal would be enforced, issues around intellectual property protection, and how fast to roll back tariffs.
The US accuses China of stealing intellectual property and wants Beijing to make changes to its economic policies, which it says unfairly favour domestic companies through subsidies.
It also wants China to buy more US goods to rein in a lofty trade deficit.