China to hold consultation with US, strive for consensus on major issues of common concern: MOC

China's Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the ultimate goal of Sino-US trade talks was to remove all additional tariffs.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the ultimate goal of Sino-US trade talks was to remove all additional tariffs, adding that China will hold consultation with the United States on issues of common concern and strive to reach consensus.

China and the US have highly overlapping interests in economic and trade issues and share complementarity in structural demands, the ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng told a press briefing.

The two sides have been communicating and cooperating smoothly, and China was confident in striking a deal with the US within the next 90 days, Gao said.

China will immediately implement the consensus that the two sides have already reached, starting with agricultural products, energy and automobiles, Gao said.

“In the next 90 days, we will follow a clear timetable and roadmap to hold consultation on issues of intellectual property rights protection, technological cooperation, market access and trade balance that conform to the interests and demands of both sides, and the two sides should strive to reach consensus,” Gao said.

“China has been expanding imports over the years in order to meet the Chinese people’s demand for better lives and high-quality development,” he said, adding that after reaching preliminary consensus on trade issues of farm produce and energy during the previous consultations, the two sides will continue to hold consultation on these issues plus manufactured goods and service trade.

The two countries, as well as companies from both sides, share common interests on intellectual property rights protection, fair competition and broadening market access, which are all highly compatible with China’s reform and opening-up drive.

China will hold consultation with the US on these issues on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, to create a better business environment for enterprises from both countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump recently held a meeting in Buenos Aires, reaching important consensus and agreeing not to impose new additional tariffs.

The commerce ministry also said China’s foreign trade growth in 2019 will have strong underpinning despite external challenges.

As the country continues to push forward the supply-side structural reform, the structure of China’s exports and imports will be further optimized, while growth potential of imports will be boosted, Gao said.

He said that although external uncertainties such as protectionism and unilateralism will add challenges to trade growth next year, the trend of economic globalization remains unchanged, and demand from major markets continues to expand.

China’s total imports and exports between January and the middle of November this year surpassed the whole trade volume of 2017, an increase of nearly 15 percent from a year earlier, according to customs data.

Trade data from the January-October period revealed that the country’s trade market diversification had accelerated.

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