Asian shares rally on hopes for China-US trade breakthrough

Asian shares rally on hopes for China-US trade breakthrough

Asian shares rally on hopes for China-US trade breakthrough

The United States says talks in Beijing on ending a bruising trade war focused on Chinese promises to buy more American goods.

At stake are scheduled USA tariff increase on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

The latest talks lasted for three days in Beijing one day longer than had been previously announced, which analysts said indicated the discussions were making some progress.

"Actively implementing the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, both sides held broad, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade issues of mutual concern as well as structural issues".

The American delegation is led by a deputy USA trade representative, Jeffrey D. Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.

In that vein, USTR said the talks focused on "ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations between our two countries", in particular by "achieving needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture".

It also said the negotiations dealt with the need for "ongoing verification and effective enforcement".

If talks continue to go well, a cabinet-level meeting is likely to happen before the end of the month.

But a more hard question may be whether China agrees to monitoring of such a commitment, a condition that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said is a prerequisite to any deal. The U.S. has put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods - and has threatened more, while Beijing has responded with tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods.

Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields.

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Liu, the chief economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, made brief remarks at the negotiations, a person familiar with the meeting said.

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It's unclear from the U.S. statement how much headway negotiators made regarding USA concerns over forced technology transfers and cybertheft of trade secrets for commercial purposes.

"The U.S. feels uncomfortable with China's rapid development, and can't adapt to its own declining influence", wrote Chen Yonglong in the state-run China Daily.

United States exports to China have also been hit by retaliatory tariffs, slumping by 42 percent in October on the goods affected, according to the US-based consultancy, The Trade Partnership. The US goods trade deficit with China was Dollars 375.6 billion in 2017.

For their part, Chinese officials are unhappy with USA curbs on exports of "dual use" technology with possible military applications.

Global Times editor Hu Xijin said that of the issues raised, the trade imbalance problem was "solved most smoothly".

"China is determined to bring the trade war to an end", The Economist has reported.

China also restarted purchases of American soybeans last month, providing relief for a crop hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng gestures as journalists raise hands for questions during a press conference at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, April 6, 2018.

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