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With more tariffs, US-China trade outlook looks grim, says data

10 January 2019

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce issued a statement saying the two sides had "detailed exchanges" and would "maintain close contact" but gave no details.

China said talks with the USA "laid the foundations" to resolve a damaging trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

China and the USA wrapped up three days of trade talks, with people familiar with the discussions saying their positions were closer on areas including energy and agriculture but further apart on harder issues.

The discussions marked the first formal talks since the US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed not to impose new tariffs at the G20 summit in December.

American officials welcomed a "good few days" as they prepared to depart Beijing today, raising hopes that the world's two largest economies could draw a line under their acrimonious dispute and reach a deal.

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"It's been a good one for us", Ted McKinney, US Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, said after the talks concluded.

In a statement released on Thursday, China's Commerce Ministry said the country had concluded their trade talks with the USA and the talks were extensive, . while establishing a foundation to resolve both sides' concerns.

The extra day of talks came amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of USA farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets. -China Business Council said in a statement.

After that meeting, top US officials said China had made an additional $1.2 trillion in trade commitments.

The two sides held intense discussion at the vice ministerial level from Monday to Wednesday in Beijing.

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Washington has been clamouring for an end to the forced transfer - and even theft - of American technology and intellectual property, as well as steep government subsidies for Chinese companies. He wouldn't confirm reports that Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. soon to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

USA stocks surged Wednesday on optimism that the midlevel talks in Beijing will be followed up with discussions between higher-ranking US and Chinese officials.

She added that the Trump administration's complaint that China is stealing USA intellectual property is "top of mind" in the negotiations with Beijing.

But they extended past their deadline, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry said signified that both sides were "very serious about these negotiations". The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 8% since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month.

"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".

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Chinese exports to the US have held up despite tariff increases of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports, partly due to exporters rushing to fill orders before more increases hit.

With more tariffs, US-China trade outlook looks grim, says data