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  • U.S. trade representatives and White House Advisers meet with Chinese Vice Premier and his delegation in Washington.

    U.S. trade representatives and White House Advisers meet with Chinese Vice Premier and his delegation in Washington. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 February 2019
Opinion

Washington is also urging China to fulfill its promises to open up its financial services markets to allow foreign firms like Visa and MasterCard to operate there.

After a round of promising negotiations in Beijing, last week, the United States and China are continuing talks in Washington Thursday and Friday ahead of a March 1 trade deal deadline.

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The two countries look to resolve the most pressing subjects in the trade dispute, including to avoid U.S. tariffs on US$200-billion worth of Chinese goods. "I think they're trying to move fast so that doesn't happen," U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters of China's incentive to avoid the rise in tariffs from 10 to 25 percent. 

Tensions have been running high between the two countries for some time.

The United States has claimed that Beijing pressured U.S. companies in China to turn over intellectual property and technology information. There have also been other rifts, between the U.S. government and the Chinese Foreign Ministry, concerning what U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called "the threat" of Chinese enterprise Huawei. During the 2019 State of the Union address to Congress, Trump remarked that U.S. traditional trade policies towards China must end. 

Multiple tariffs have already been placed on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods by both sides. Being the two largest economies in the world, the standoff has interfered with global growth, supply chains and manufacturing.

The United States is pushing to end practices they say give Chinese domestic goods an unfair advantage at the expense of U.S. goods, such as non-tariff barriers, industrial subsidies, regulations, licensing procedures and product standards reviews. A 10-item list of commodities and goods, including agricultural produce and energy, for China to buy from the U.S. is being proposed to reduce the Asian country's trade surplus, currently at US$39.16 billion in January. The figure is a gradual decline from December 2018's US$57.06 billion. 

Washington is also urging China to fulfill promises made to open up its financial services markets to allow foreign firms like Visa and MasterCard to operate there.

Six memorandums are to be drafted to clarify current issues including forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency and agriculture. The outline marks the most progress made, so far, towards concluding the seven-month trade war

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