China, US launch trade talks amid deep differences

China Intellectual property

China Intellectual property

Administration officials and other people familiar with the state of play, however, say the two sides remain far apart on key issues, with the US side still engaged in an internal debate over how to proceed and ill-prepared for this week's meetings.

On Monday, the US Justice Department unsealed a host of criminal charges, including bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology, against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou.

After a few minutes, Lighthizer broke the silence with joking small talk about table positioning and appearing in photographs from the meeting between U.S.President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina past year. The announcement came hours before the start of the two days of talks.

Talks began on the White House campus Wednesday morning with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sitting across the table from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The talks in Washington are expected to be tense, with little indication so far that Chinese officials are willing to address core US demands to fully protect American intellectual property rights and end policies that Washington has said force USA companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms. But American negotiators are looking for more structural changes in the trade relationship, including an end to China's intellectual property theft and the forced transfer of US technology.

Topics covered by the USA questions include subsidies for China's fishing industry and the activity of so-called government guidance funds, which seek to foster domestic innovation in different industries from advanced engineering and robotics to biotechnology and clean energy.

Lighthizer's office didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Tuesday. As late as Tuesday, the USA was still debating how to proceed, Bloomberg reported, citing administration officials and other people familiar with the situation.

But just how to craft a deal that's politically acceptable in an increasingly hawkish Washington remains unclear, people familiar with the discussions said.

Post reporters Anna Fifield and Devlin Barrett break down how the latest charges complicate the trade talks and further strain already tense relations between Washington and Beijing.

At one of the stalls in trade talks in 2018, President Trump told Breitbart News he believed China "would love to make a deal", but wasn't yet ready to negotiate.

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For experts, expectations remain low for any meaningful progress this week.

To stop an escalating trade war, both sides declared a 90-day halt on tariffs on December 1, 2018, at the end of a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina. That gap means the U.S.is importing a lot more goods from China than we export to the country. The politics of any deal are also growing more complicated as Trump's standing in the polls has been falling again after his gambit to shut down the government to force Congress to approve funding for a wall on the Mexican border went wrong. Davis on how some people who worked during the shutdown won't be seeing a paycheck. But it's hard for him to do so under the current circumstance because he is facing a lot of criticism domestically, " said Cheng Li, research director of the Brookings' John L. Thornton China Center.

It was at that meeting in Buenos Aires that leaders of the world's two largest economies called a 90-day truce to try to work out trade differences through negotiations.

Trump has threatened to extend the tariffs to an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods.

"The scope of these talks will be the broadest and deepest in U.S".

"Given the weakness in the Chinese economy and the fact that the United States will certainly be slowing down, that's not a pretty picture", Lardy said. "There is still a very good case for 3 percent growth this year", he said.

Apple Inc. on Tuesday reported a steep drop in sales in Greater China, representing nearly $5 billion of lost revenue.

Anna Fifield and Devlin Barrett break down how charges against the Chinese tech firm Huawei influence USA and Chinese relations.

"What we don't support is the development of a trade war, which is being developed and waged through mounting tariffs, " Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said this month.

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