Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

China actively looking for trade dispute solutions, says Chinese vice premier

China actively looking for trade dispute solutions, says Chinese vice premier

They were in Beijing as part of an official visit, trying to deliver on Trump's demand that China make dramatic changes in its trade policy.

Members of the trade- and tax-focused U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee said after meeting with Liu that they emphasized the need to address U.S. concerns about intellectual property, forced technology transfers, barriers to investment in China and agricultural trade.

According to Liu, a healthy China-US relationship is in the interests of both sides, who have a great deal in common.

The talks are aimed at defusing a trade war. Liu concluded by saying that China values the role of the US Congress and is willing to strengthen its communication with the institution. Separately, the White House said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, among others, would participate.

Bloomberg reports that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been cut out of talks in part because of recent behavior that was described as erratic and unprofessional.

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China has promised to retaliate in equal measure, targeting USA soybeans, aircraft, autos and other goods for additional tariffs.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump wrote on Twitter.

US officials initially told the Chinese that they'd be open to granting some relief from the pending tariffs in exchange for a commitment to reduce the trade deficit with China by $200 billion over two years, according to an administration official. But a White House official later said that he would participate in the talks.

Close to 125 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the hearings, which conclude on Thursday, in a sign of the concern in the USA business community over the administration's move.

The U.S. and China have already held one round of talks two weeks ago in Beijing, where they exchanged lists of demands. Tensions between the two nations have increased as Trump imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and the Chinese retaliated with tariffs of their own.

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Before the delegation's arrival, a Chinese working group arrived in the United States last week and engaged in intense consultations with the USA side.

Ahead of the meetings, Liu, who is China's top economic official, told USA lawmakers on Wednesday that he would work hard to address the U.S.

Accused by Democrats of going soft on China and national security, Trump lashed out at the media on Wednesday in a series of tweets, accusing CNN and The Washington Post of writing "false stories" about the trade negotiations, which he said, "haven't even started yet". The administration has been adamant that they need to see "concrete" actions from the Chinese if they hope to avoid potential new US tariffs on Chinese imports that would address China's unfair trade practices and stealing of intellectual property.

US lawmakers on Tuesday rejected any plan by Trump to ease restrictions on ZTE, calling the company a security threat and vowing not to abandon the Commerce Department ruling banning sales of American components and software to the company for violating terms of a sanctions settlement deal. "It was really the beginning of what I think is going to be a lengthy process", he said.

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