US delegation in Beijing for trade talks in hopes of avoiding trade war

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, (C) arrives with his delegation at hotel after a meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing, Thursday, May 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

A U.S. delegation, led by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is in China for two-day talks on tariffs. The discussions are expected to cover a wide range of topics, including U.S. complaints about China’s trade practices.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports from Washington.

The big question at the moment: Is no news good news?

U.S. and Chinese officials met on Thursday to work on possible compromises when it comes to trade between the two nations. But so far, there have been no public statements as to what exactly occurred on the first day of talks.

But despite a lack of details, U.S. President Donald Trump was big on praise of his trade team.

A large focus of these highly anticipated talks are on China’s technology policies. China is making a big push to be a tech leader on the global stage. It’s been ramping up its “Made in China 2025” program with policies that develop tech industries and subsidize Chinese firms. The problem: China is also requiring foreign companies to divulge information on their own tech products with Chinese companies.

Meanwhile, more than one thousand economists have written an open letter to the president through the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). These economists, among them 14 Nobel Prize winners, warned the president that his tariff policies and economic protectionism mirrored similar actions of the 1930s that lead to the Great Depression.

Even as talks began, trade tensions between Beijing and Washington were on the rise. According to the world’s biggest oilseed processor, Bunge Ltd., China has already stopped buying U.S. soybeans. It’s recently opted for soybeans from Canada and Brazil, among other nations. This poses a big problem to the U.S. soybean industry. China is the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, purchasing about $14 billion worth of the product.


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