Representatives from the Chinese and U.S. governments resumed trade talks this Friday, with the aim of quickly resolving disputes that have stalled ongoing negotiations.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met in the Chinese Capital and posed for photographs on Friday morning.
President Trump has already showed enthusiasm and optimism for the current round of talks, saying last week that “we’re getting very close [to making a deal]”.
New Meetings Bring Both Nations Closer to a Trade Agreement
Trade disputes have lingered for over a year, plaguing the economies on both sides. Representatives are now hoping to resolve issues regarding intellectual property rights and the Chinese government’s push to subsidize its high-tech industries. America wants fairer market conditions that allow for organic competition. China has not yet stated whether it will eliminate large financial packages for its growing tech companies.
Despite uncertainty on exactly how far the negotiations have come, the statements from both sides have been positive. Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesman Gao Feng said this week that “Both teams are currently sparing no effort.”
Preliminary Accord Could Come in the Second Quarter
Although neither side has committed to a hard deadline for negotiations, some analysts believe that a draft accord could be made in the coming weeks.
News sources like the Associated Press have reported that the biggest stumbling point is the White House’s insistence that there be an enforcement mechanism written into any new agreement. This would protect the United States if China fails to meet any of its obligations.
President Trump also stated this month that he would like to keep a 25% tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods, even if a trade deal is made. The U.S. still has a significant trade deficit with China, and it has been growing even throughout the ongoing disputes. Enforcing tariffs long-term could help to offset the deficit.
Asian Markets Positive on Friday
Stock markets in Asia saw gains this Friday, with the positive trade news helping to boost investor confidence. The Nikkei 225 Index in Japan finished up +0.82%, the Asia Dow was up +0.16% at the close of market, and the Shanghai Composite closed with an impressive +3.20% gain.
This positive momentum could carry over to U.S. stocks to close out this week, providing that investors take the same optimism from resumed trade negotiations.
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