Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

United States delegation in China for talks over tariff row

A container ship at the Vizag Terminal operated by Essar Ports India’s second largest private port operator in Vishakhapatnam Trade Tensions With US Open Door for China to Mend Ties With India AFP 2018 INDRANIL MUKHERJEE
Glenn Montgomery | 03 May, 2018, 16:55

A USA trade delegation, led by senior officials including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, arrived in Beijing on Thursday for crucial talks over tariffs dispute even as China sought to temper expectations about a breakthrough.

The US delegation also includes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, assistant to the president for economic policy Larry Kudlow and assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy Peter Navarro.

The group is set to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is Xi's top economic adviser, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Beijing "happily offers good intent", Loong said.

"Our great financial team is in China trying to negotiate a level playing field on trade!" he tweeted as his trade delegation prepped in the Beijing hotel. "I look forward to being with President Xi in the not too distant future".

"Reuters reported on Wednesday that the state-owned newspaper China Daily warned in an editorial that Beijing would "stand up to the U.S.' bullying as necessary".

Tackling the trade gap between the United States and China was one of President Trump's election campaign promises. But foreign companies are unhappy over requirements that they share key details about their technology to Chinese partners.

Analysts say Beijing is unlikely to cede any ground on policies meant to help close that gap.

"Zhang Monan, a researcher at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, said the co-dependency of China and the USA is a highly reactive relationship". Yu says China would rather cut the trade deficit by importing high-tech products from the US that are now tightly restricted. "It will not be abandoned due to external pressure".

Asked about trade friction between the USA and China, ADB President Takehiko Nakao said Thursday that so far mounting friction has not measurably hurt that activity.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading a delegation of USA officials.

US -based trade experts said they expected Beijing to offer Trump's team a package of policy changes that may include some previously announced moves, such as a phase-out of joint venture requirements for some sectors, autos tariff reductions and increased purchases of USA goods.

The "Made in China 2025" plan calls for domestic producers to supply 70 per cent of the country's chip demand.

Xi said Wednesday China must firmly control major technologies and rely on domestic innovation, echoing comments from days earlier when he used a visit to a semiconductor company in Wuhan to say the industry must make major breakthroughs.

China now consumes almost 60 per cent of the world's semiconductors but supplies only about 16 per cent, according to PWC.

This is after U.S. goods exports to China had declined in 2015 and 2016.

Experts say Chinese chipmakers are five years behind their U.S. and Asian rivals and that increasingly high technological hurdles and a meagre talent pool are hindering the effort to catch up with dominant U.S., Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers. A second round of fundraising for as much as 200 billion yuan is underway, Chinese media report.

After meetings at the USA embassy, the Washington officials moved to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for talks with their Chinese counterparts, but the two sides have yet to release details of the negotiations. While China put the total at United States dollars 275.8 billion, USA figures said it is USD 100 billion more.

Asked about China's expectations from the talks, Hua said that it is in the best interests of the two countries to resolve their disputes.

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