April 1, 2019

U.S.-China Officials Finish Talks In Beijing, Will Continue In Washington This Week

A delegation led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were in Beijing last Thursday and Friday to continue discussions with Chinese officials regarding trade between the two countries. The negotiations reportedly covered all of the issues previously identified by the United States as priorities, including purchases of U.S. goods and services; structural issues such as currency, forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, and non-tariff barriers; and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that both sides meet commitments in the agreement.

In a statement issued after the talks concluded, the White House said the two countries “continued to make progress during candid and constructive discussions on the negotiations and important next steps.” The Chinese government said the talks “achieved new progress.”

The talks will continue late this week when Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with Secretary Mnuchin, Ambassador Lighthizer, and other top U.S. economic and diplomatic officials.

While discussions moved forward, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned that the negotiations still could go on for several more months. In a speech last Thursday, he said, “This is not time-dependent. This is policy- and enforcement-dependent … If it takes a few more weeks, or if it takes months, so be it. We have to get a great deal, as the president says, that works for the United States. That’s our principal interest.”