China trade delegation to meet Monday, Tuesday

Charlene Craig
January 8, 2019

Beijing on Friday cut bank reserve requirements for a fifth time this year amid slowing growth at home and the punishing US tariffs on exports.

Before the meeting with China in Argentina, USA was threatening to impose another round of trade tariffs of 25 percent instead of earlier 10 percent on Chinese goods that would cost additional $200 billion.

The ministry said that it would host the U.S. team on January 7-8 for high-level talks, during which representatives of both parties will discuss "implementing the important consensus" mapped out by Trump and Xi.

The Ministry of Commerce said Friday the two days of talks are aimed at carrying out last month's agreement by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to postpone new tariff hikes in their battle over Beijing's technology policy.

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It cited steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in China, which is one of its largest overseas markets, amid the US-China trade war.

They hope to have "positive and constructive discussions", said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang.

Since the agreement there have been tentative signs that China is ready to make concessions to the United States in order to lessen the impact of the trade war on its economy, with the Wall Street Journal reporting in December that Beijing is preparing to replace its Made in China 2025 plan with a new economic blueprint that would aim for increased access to China for foreign companies. There are fears of both sides hiking tariffs if no deal is reached.

Chinese economic growth fell to a post-global crisis of 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in September. Some U.S. demands would require structural reform that may be unpalatable for Chinese leaders.

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The talks on January 7-8 will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two the countries over trade since Xi and Trump agreed a 90-day truce in Buenos Aires on December 1.

The makeup of the US team was announced Friday by the trade representative's office.

"That puts a lot of pressure on China to make a deal", he said.

In addition to Gerrish, the official delegation will also include David Malpass, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for worldwide affairs.

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Some manufacturers that serve the United States have shifted production to other countries.

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