This week, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, officials from the United States traveled to Beijing to continue negotiations on the trade relationship between the United States and China. On the United States side, the talks were led by Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative, and the Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury. On the Chinese side, the talks were led by Vice Premier Liu He. On Friday, both delegations had the opportunity to meet with President Xi Jinping regarding their discussions. The talks also featured extensive technical exchanges between the professional staffs of both countries.
These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties. Much work remains, however. Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods. United States and Chinese officials have agreed that any commitments will be stated in a Memoranda of Understanding between the two countries.
During the talks, the United States delegation focused on structural issues, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, cyber theft, agriculture, services, non-tariff barriers, and currency. The two sides also discussed China’s purchases of United States goods and services intended to reduce the United States’ large and persistent bilateral trade deficit with China.
Next week, discussions will continue in Washington at the ministerial and vice-ministerial levels. The United States looks forward to these further talks and hopes to see additional progress.