Progress reported in high-level trade talks in Washington

Global Business

U.S. and Chinese delegations meet in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, during continuing meetings on the U.S.-China bilateral trade relationship, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, third from right, sits across the table from the U.S. delegation including President’s Assistant for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, third from left, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Amb. Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, seventh from left, and President’s Assistant for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

If the ongoing trade talks between leaders of the two largest economies on earth could be compared to a marathon, now comes the spring to the finish.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

The big names are leading negotiations in Washington right now. For China, it is Vice Premier Liu He.

For the United States, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“Based on the foundation of the previous high-level negotiations, the two sides will go a step further in deepening their communication on relevant economic trade issues,” Gao Feng, the spokesman for China Ministry of Commerce said.

In simple terms, they are down to the difficult sticking points.

For example, Washington is focusing on what it calls unfair practices that include accusations that Beijing forces American companies to surrender trade secrets for access to China’s lucrative markets.

There are positive signs.

U.S. President Donald Trump is indicating that the U.S. is flexible on a critical March first deadline for more than doubling tariffs on many Chinese goods.

“The date is not a magical date, a lot of things can happen.  The real question will be if we raise the tariffs because they automatically kick in at 25 percent on $200 billion worth of goods that they send,” Trump said.

There is no question the tariffs have been a drain on economies of both nations, and experts warn the feud poses a threat to global markets. Trump has been cheering the recent run in the U.S. financial markets.

But a new study, by an American research firm shows the S&P 500 would actually be about 11 percent higher, without the trade conflict.

Jim Nolt discusses progress of trade talks

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes interviews Jim Nolt, senior fellow at the Policy Institute about trade talks in Washington.