China trade delegation to meet Monday, Tuesday

Saul Bowman
January 7, 2019

A USA government delegation will visit China next week for the first face-to-face talks since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart agreed on a temporary truce in the trade war, Beijing said Friday. The ministry said that it would host the U.S. team on January 7-8 for high-level talks, during which representatives of both parties will discuss "implementing the important consensus" mapped out by Trump and Xi.

Stock markets across the globe dropped Thursday after tech giant Apple said sales of its devices had fallen sharply in China last month, perhaps signaling a broader slowing in the world economy.

"That puts a lot of pressure on China to make a deal", he said. Kevin Hassett, the White House economic adviser, said on Thursday the sharp drop in Chinese economic growth will hit USA profits but sales for Apple and other firms should rebound once a trade deal is struck.

USTR said the U.S. delegation would also include under secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, as well as senior officials from those agencies and the White House.

Trump and Xi agreed to postpone additional tariff hikes for 90 days, but economists say that is too little time to resolve their sprawling dispute.


Hassett added Thursday, noting that he was a "globalist" before joining the Trump administration: "If we have a successful negotiation with China, then Apple's sales and everybody else's sales will recover". The U.S. -China trade war is one piece of the puzzle, as is the backlash to the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.

On its website, China's commerce ministry said the goal of the upcoming talks, to be held in Beijing on 7 and 8 January, will be "implementing the important consensus" reached by the two leaders. The longer their trade war lasts, the longer companies and consumers will feel the pain of higher-priced imports and exports. American officials worry those might erode USA industrial leadership, and complain that China's technological prowess is underpinned by the theft of intellectual property from US firms.

Lighthizer opposed China's entry into the World Trade Organisation in the 1990s and more recently was a driving force behind Trump's decision to impose tariffs on roughly $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Official data this week showed manufacturing has slowed in both China and the United States, though the U.S. Labor Department on Friday reported a surge in new jobs in December along with higher wages.

Growth is expected by the government to have eased to around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017. There are fears of both sides hiking tariffs if no deal is reached.

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