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U.S. Commerce secretary

09 January 2019
U.S. Commerce secretary

While both sides have expressed an interest in settling the fight, China complained of a sighting of a US warship in what it said were Chinese waters.

The operation came as Chinese and United States officials kicked off talks in Beijing to find a solution to a bitter trade war that prompted the two sides to impose tariffs previous year on more than $300 billion in total two-way trade.

Trump said last week, "I think we'll have a deal with China".

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the two sides were narrowing their differences, with Chinese officials offering greater purchases of U.S. goods and services and Cabinet-level follow-up meetings expected later this month.

Neither side gave details of their agenda but Gerrish's delegation includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials. The U.S. delegation were seen carrying their luggage with them as they left their hotel for the negotiations on Wednesday morning.

U.S. President Donald Trump says the talks with China are going very well. but the details of the discussions in Beijing remain far and few between right now.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Kim's visit and the trade talks were "two separate matters". The Trump administration also objects to Chinese industry development plans that Washington, Europe, Japan and other trading partners say violate Beijing's market-opening obligations.

He is expected to meet chief U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later this month.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that China's economy is more vulnerable to the fallout from the trade war.

Ross said there was a "very good chance" of reaching an agreement, although monitoring compliance would present a challenge.

One Chinese official reportedly described the negotiations as "constructive".

Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods past year and threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property and hacking. The threat of USA tariff hikes was the "dominating factor" for almost half, while others moved because of higher costs or tighter environmental regulation.

The trade clash reflects American anxiety about China's rise as a potential competitor in telecommunications and other technology.

A private-sector source familiar with the talks said this could indicate that more detailed discussions were likely taking place.

There are growing concerns that the trade war could escalate into a broader conflict between the U.S. and China, as top Trump administration officials have attacked China on issues ranging from alleged human rights abuses to influence operations in the US.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is at a five-decade low.

"China would need to significantly recalibrate its industrial policies to fully meet the US trade team's demands", Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a report.

The gulf between the USA and China poses one of the top global risks in 2019, according to the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. There is no question that the Chinese want the deal, they need the deal.