China and US discuss plans for trade talks

China and US discuss plans for trade talks Photo: AP

December 11, 2018 02:51 PM

BEIJING (AP) — China's economy czar and U.S. trade envoys discussed plans for talks on a tariff battle, the government said Tuesday, indicating that negotiations are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive.

Vice Premier Liu He talked by phone with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about "the promotion of the next economic and trade consultations," said a two-sentence Commerce Ministry statement. It gave no other details. Lighthizer's office confirmed the phone call with Liu but provided no additional information.

Advertisement

The announcement indicated that talks are on track despite China's weekend threats of unspecified "grave consequences" if the Huawei Technologies Ltd. executive isn't released. She was arrested in Canada on U.S. charges of possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

Later Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that discussions between the world's two largest economies have been "very productive" and that "some important announcements" regarding the trade talks are coming. He didn't elaborate. But his White House counselor Kellyanne Conway cited news reports that China appears to be moving toward reducing tariffs on cars made in the U.S. to 15 percent from 40 percent.

Trump agreed on Dec. 1 to postpone more U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods for 90 days while the two sides negotiate over American complaints about Beijing's technology policies.

The Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested the same day in Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite that, the Commerce Ministry said last week that Beijing would carry out terms of the cease-fire and expressed optimism a deal can be reached during the 90-day period.

The Chinese government raised more doubts over the weekend when it demanded Canada and the United States withdraw the charges and release Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, or face unspecified "grave consequences."

Trump approved tariff hikes of 25 percent on $50 billion of Chinese goods and 10 percent on another $200 billion of imports in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

China retaliated with penalties on $110 billion of American goods but is running out of imports for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance. Trump has threatened to expand charges to all goods from China.

___

Chinese Ministry of Commerce (in Chinese): www.mofcom.gov.cn

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

By JOE McDONALD

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Advertisement

City of Minneapolis has plan for using Northern Metals funds

Cold Friday, followed by colder weekend in Twin Cities

After bullets comes love at North High School in Minneapolis

Sheriff's Department: 1 dead, another in critical condition after shooting at Texas church

School safety, building morale among top priorities for new Department of Education head

Hotel employees across Minnesota now trained to spot signs of sex trafficking

Advertisement