Consensus aids talks on bilateral trade agreement
Both the United States and China are motivated to reach a deal on bilateral trade and relevant issues with the latest round of talks being concluded in Beijing, US experts have said.
It is clear that the two sides made steady and methodical progress on both core and subsidiary issues in the talks, said Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Institute for China-America Studies.
“That negotiators are meeting again is itself testament to the earnestness with which both sides are pursing these talks as well as to the forward movement within the talks,” Gupta said.
Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said both China and the US are motivated to negotiate due to the economic pain from tariffs imposed by the two sides on imported goods from each other in 2018.
One thing to remember is that US President Donald Trump wants a deal, said Harris.
When the US fiscal stimulus started to fade at the end of last year, it became more and more apparent that the trade war was hurting business confidence, he said.
China and the US held the sixth round of high-level economic and trade consultations in Beijing on Thursday and Friday.
Present at the talks were Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The two sides earnestly implemented the consensus reached by the two heads of state during their Argentina meeting late last year.
They had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern including technology transfers, intellectual property rights protection, non-tariff barriers, the service industry, agriculture, the trade balance as well as on issues of Chinese concern.
Both sides reached consensus in principle on major issues and had specific discussions about a memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues.
The two sides said they will step up their work within the time limit for consultations set by both heads of state, and strive for consensus. They agreed that consultations will continue in Washington this week.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also met with Lighthizer and Mnuchin at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday.
Calling China-US ties one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world today, Xi said the two countries share broad common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and stability, as well as promoting global development and prosperity.
Lighthizer and Mnuchin said the US team is willing to work with their Chinese counterpart in the next stage to maintain close communication and speed up their work in order to reach a deal that accords with the interests of both sides.