China-US trade talks have laid foundation for a deal, ministry says

Ivan Schwartz
January 10, 2019

China and the United States concluded three days of talks by midlevel trade officials January 9 with a cautious sense of optimism that the world's two biggest economies might be able to reach a deal that ends their bruising trade war.

Asian markets were mostly lower Thursday as USA and Chinese officials wrapped up three days of talks in Beijing without significant breakthroughs.

The talk has enhanced mutual understanding and laid a foundation for addressing each other's concerns, it said.

Trump said the USA tariffs had hurt China.

A statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not characterize the tone of the talks or say what would happen next, noting only the U.S. delegation would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington.

Investors welcomed signs of optimism from the talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 91.67 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 23,879.12, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 10.55 points, or 0.41 percent, to end at 2,584.96 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 60.08 points, or 0.87 percent, to finish at 6,957.08. USA president Donald Trump tweeted without elaborating, as talks wound down late on Tuesday evening in Beijing.

However, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday the two sides were further apart on Chinese structural reforms that the Trump administration is demanding in order to stop alleged theft and forced transfer of USA technology, and on how China will be held to its promises. -China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business with China.

"The U.S. feels uncomfortable with China's rapid development, and can't adapt to its own declining influence", wrote Chen Yonglong in the state-run China Daily". Lu said he had no details and an official statement would be issued later. USA and North Korean officials are believed to have met in Vietnam to discuss a location.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures on Wednesday gained nearly 5.2 percent, while Brent crude futures were up more than 4.6 percent. "I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate".

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Thomas Sr. was, unfortunately, unable to be there for his daughter on her special day since he had some serious health issues. Thomas Jr., 52, and Darlene, 38, will either marry in Reno or Las Vegas, and have been dating for two years.

As the trade talks wound down, China's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, met with CEO Elon Musk of electric vehicle brand Tesla Inc.

China's Commerce Ministry, the lead agency on its side of the table, was silent after the conclusion of the talks, but was expected to address outcomes at its regular weekly news briefing on Thursday.

Our Yoon Jung-min tells us more.

One of the biggest challenges to any deal would be to ensure that China enforces whatever is agreed to stop technology transfers, intellectual property theft and hacking.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose $2.38 to $52.16 a barrel, a 4.8 percent gain, by 1:15 p.m. EST (1815 GMT), the first time this year that WTI has topped $50.

The OPEC-led cuts are aimed at reining in an emerging supply overhang, in part because USA crude oil output surged by around two million barrels per day in 2018, to a record 11.7 million bpd.

Trump is increasingly eager to strike a deal with China soon in an effort to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over the trade war, according to people familiar with internal White House deliberations.

The statement came after, in December, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentia to call a truce in their escalating trade war.

"Talks with China are going very well!".

"At the beginning of 2018 the global economy was firing on all cylinders, but it lost speed during the year and the ride could get even bumpier in the year ahead, " World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva, said in a semi-annual report released late on Tuesday.

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