US Trade Team to Travel to China for Talks

US trade delegation to travel to China next month: Report

The U.S. will hold mid-level trade talks with China in early January, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

The U.S. team will be led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and will include David Malpass, Treasury undersecretary for worldwide affairs, Bloomberg said.

Feng further said: "In January, in addition to maintaining intensive telephone consultations, the two sides have made specific arrangements for face-to-face consultations".

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump agreed to a 90-day truce during a dinner meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentinian capital Buenos Aires on December 1. China has also said it will suspend additional tariffs on US-made vehicles and auto parts for three months starting Jan 1, adding that it hopes both sides can speed up negotiations to remove all additional tariffs on each other's goods.

Two people in Beijing with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg that China isn't clear on exactly what the USA wants.

The U.S. also delayed a planned January 1 tariff increase until March 2.

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China, meanwhile, wants the remove the punitive tariffs that have been imposed and not add new ones, but suspects the US will ask for more before it agrees to do that, the people said.

Since Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump came to a temporary truce nearly a month ago, China's removed a retaliatory duty on USA automobiles and is drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers.

"Despite the American side now having Christmas holidays", US and China trade teams have "maintained close communication", ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said.

Beijing so far has pledged to resume buying American soybeans and to at least temporarily lower retaliatory tariffs on USA autos.

On Sunday, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC, China's legislature) saw a draft law that would allow IP theft victims to claim "punitive damages". Lighthizer, who isn't scheduled to join the delegation in China, left no wiggle room for the two countries to extend talks beyond 90 days, saying this month that March 1 was a "hard deadline" that was endorsed by Trump.

Trump said his agreement with Xi would go down "as one of the largest deals ever made".

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