After a long break, negotiators from the United States and China have resumed talks to resolve the trade dispute between the two largest economies.
After introducing the new US trade strategy with China earlier this week, US Trade Representative Catherine Tai and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He discussed their differences via a video link on Saturday.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the two sides shared their main concerns and agreed to deal with mutual “legitimate concerns” in the consultations.
They also exchanged on the implementation of the first phase agreement to resolve the three-year trade dispute. Xinhua continued that the negotiators wanted to continue their dialogue.
From the American perspective, China has not yet sufficiently achieved the early 2020 agreement. At that time, the two sides reached a kind of armistice, by which new or higher punitive duties were prevented.
The main point was China’s promise to buy an additional $200 billion in American goods by the end of 2021 – mainly oil and gas (50 billion), industrial goods (80 billion), and agricultural products (32 billion).
The trade dispute began with the imposition of customs duties
The trade spat began in June 2018 when Trump imposed punitive duties on imports from China of up to $50 billion. He wanted to reduce the high trade deficit and accused Beijing of unfair trade tactics.
The conflict escalated until, a year later, Trump imposed punitive tariffs on nearly all imports from China worth more than $500 billion. Beijing has also responded by imposing new duties.
As evidenced by the strategy presented by the US Trade Representative on Monday, the new US administration of President Joe Biden wants to stick to punitive tariffs for now. However, there should be more exceptions in favor of the US economy. The US side also wants to implement the January 2020 agreement.
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