US, Chinese trade deputies seen meeting Friday, says US Chamber CEO

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer addresses the media to close the second round of Nafta talks involving the United States, Mexico and Canada at Secretary of Economy headquarters in Mexico City, September 5, 2017. — Reuters pic
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer addresses the media to close the second round of Nafta talks involving the United States, Mexico and Canada at Secretary of Economy headquarters in Mexico City, September 5, 2017. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 — US and Chinese deputy trade negotiators are expected to meet on Friday, with senior negotiators likely to meet about a week and a half later, US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said today, citing a conversation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Donohue, speaking at a news conference to urge congressional approval of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, said that Lighthizer “did indicate that there was some movement in the direction of purchasing of (US) agricultural products and other issues.”

The US and Chinese governments have said previously that they expect deputy-level trade talks to resume during mid-September in Washington, but have not made public a specific date. Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to meet with China’s top negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, in early October.

President Donald Trump last week delayed a scheduled October 1 tariff increase on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods after China also delayed tariffs on some US imports.

The world’s two largest economies have not held in-person talks since late July toward resolving their 14-month trade war, which has roiled markets, disrupted supply chains and threatened global growth.

“While I’m optimistic about it, I’m also a dead-ass realist and this is not a simple problem,” Donohue said of the new round of talks.

Donohue said there was no indication from Lighthizer that the talks may produce an interim deal with a more limited scope, and said Lighthizer was still pushing for a “real agreement” that addresses intellectual property and technology transfer issues first raised by the USTR two years ago. — Reuters

Related Articles