BEIJING: The United States and China extended trade talks late into a second day in Beijing on Tuesday, a source with knowledge of the meetings said, as the world’s two largest economies looked to resolve a bitter trade dispute.
The source confirmed to Reuters that the talks were “ongoing,” but few other details had emerged.
US President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter from Washington on Tuesday, reiterated his recent statement that the talk with China were going well but gave no other details.
The meetings are the first face-to-face talks since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.
On Monday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that “we can live with.” Ross said immediate trade issues would be the easiest to tackle, while enforcement issues and structural reforms, such as intellectual property rights and market access, would be more challenging.
The US team, led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included under secretaries from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Treasury, and senior officials from those agencies and the White House.
Trump imposed import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods last year and threatened more to pressure Beijing to change its practices on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to intellectual property and hacking. China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.
Earlier on Tuesday, China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import, a move seen as a “goodwill gesture” by some in the US agriculture industry that could boost China’s overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods.
The timely approval of GM crops had been an early Trump administration demand in trade talks dating back to 2017.
US farmers and global seed companies have long complained about Beijing’s slow and unpredictable process for approving GM crops for import, stoking trade tensions between the two sides.