China, US officials to meet next week after Trump tariff gesture

Vice Premier Liu He said on Thursday that Chinese and US officials will meet next week to discuss topics, including trade balance, market access and investor protection

Vice Premier Liu He said on Thursday that Chinese and US officials will meet next week to discuss topics, including trade balance, market access and investor protection, Xinhua news agency reported.

China welcomed the US decision to delay increasing tariffs on Chinese goods, Liu said during a meeting with Evan Greenberg, chairman of the US-China Business Council, Xinhua said.

The whole world looks forward to seeing progress in trade consultations between China and the United States, Liu said, adding that working groups from both sides will meet next week and have earnest discussions on trade balance, market access, protection of investors and other issues of common concern.

The US business sector does not want to see a hike in tariffs, and hopes that the two countries will solve their differences through consultations and bring bilateral trade back to normal, Greenberg said.

The USCBC is willing to play a positive role in this regard, he added.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US has agreed to delay increasing tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports from October 1 to 15 “as a gesture of good will.”

China welcomes the US decision to delay the planned tariff hike and hopes both sides are moving in the same direction to prepare for the next round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations in October, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a news briefing earlier in yesterday.

Chinese importers are asking US suppliers for prices of soybeans, pork and other farm goods, he said. “Chinese enterprises have started to inquire about the price of American farm goods including soybeans and pork.”

“The Chinese and US sides have maintained effective communication,” Gao noted. “The working teams dispatched by both sides will meet in the near future to get fully prepared for the 13th round of high-level economic and consultations.”

From the conclusion of the Osaka meeting in Japan to the end of July, a total of 2.27 million tons of American soybeans have been shipped to China, and another 2 million tons of soybeans were expected to be loaded in August, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

With a huge market, China is a promising destination for high-quality US agricultural products. China has time and again insisted that the US should earnestly implement the consensus reached in Osaka and be committed to fulfilling its promises to create the necessary conditions for bilateral agricultural cooperation.

China on Wednesday unveiled the first set of US goods to be excluded from the first round of additional tariffs. Specifically, 16 items on the list will be exempted from tariffs imposed in retaliation for US tariffs as part of a “Section 301” probe, starting from September 17, 2019, to September 16, 2020.

The exemption will take effect on September 17, and three factors will be taken into consideration when deciding if a product is worthy of tariff exemption: difficulties in seeking substitutes, severe economic damage caused by the additional tariffs, and the serious negative structural effects on the relevant industry, the commerce ministry said.

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