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U.S.-China trade talks conclude as hopes of a deal build

2019-01-09 18:36
The U.S. trade delegation in Beijing is "wrapping up" meetings with Chinese officials and will return to the United States after a "good few days", a U.S. official said. Ed Giles reports. Hopes rose for a U.S.-China breakthrough on trade Wednesday (January 9). An American official told reporters the U.S. delegation had 'a good few days' and talks were wrapping up. Wednesday was an unscheduled third day of talks with China's foreign ministry saying the extra time ... showed they were very serious about negotiations. The extension also saw Asian stock markets jump up with shares in the region hitting a three and half week high. Investors may be optimistic the U.S. and China can avoid an all-out trade confrontation that has the potential to disrupt the global economy. Talks were stretched into a third day after signs of progress. China could buy more U.S. farm and energy commodities, and the U.S. could get better access to Chinese markets. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday (January 8) that the talks were 'going very well.' But Reuters sources close to the talks said that the two sides were further apart on the kinds of reforms the White House is demanding from China. Those would aim to stop the alleged theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of U.S. technology and determine how Beijing will be held to its promises. If there's no deal by March Trump has said he will go ahead and raise tariffs to 25 percent from their current 10 percent, on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports to the U.S. It's a move that could trigger retaliation from Beijing. It would also come at a time when recent data shows China's economy is slowing significantly. On Wednesday the state-run China Daily said Beijing is keen to put an end to the trade dispute but will not make any quote "unreasonable concessions".