China and United States to hold trade talks in Beijing

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American envoys are due in Beijing for talks Monday in a tariff battle over Chinese technology ambitions.

The delegation, led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, will be here from January 7 to 8 to hold talks with China's working group based on the agreement reached between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump in December, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement cited by Efe news.

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Washington delegation and will discuss "implementing the important consensus" reached by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina a year ago, China´s commerce ministry said. United States president Donald Trump has threatened a sharp hike in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods if China didn't yield to his requests.

Trade negotiations could still be affected due to the diplomatic row following the arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of the U.S. for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.

"The negotiations next week are important because they will establish expectations, but we shouldn't expect major breakthroughs", said Mr Myron Brilliant, vice-president of global affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce.

"We have a massive trade negotiation going on with China".

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Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices - concerns shared by the, Japan and others.

In addition to Gerrish, the U.S. team will include the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's top negotiator on agricultural issues, Gregg Doud; Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass; Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan; the U.S. Agriculture Department's under secretary for trade and foreign affairs, Ted McKinney; the U.S. Department of Energy's assistant secretary for fossil energy, Steven Winberg; and other senior officials. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is the top USA official in the ongoing trade discussions, while Vice Premier Liu He is China's top representative.

The manufacturing sectors in both countries have been hit by the trade dispute, and Apple shares dropped sharply after reporting steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in the last quarter in China - one of its largest overseas markets.

The spat has rattled companies and financial markets that worry it would drag on global economic growth that is showing signs of slowing.

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

Trump has said talks toward a deal are progressing well, but it is unclear if Beijing will yield to key USA demands over trade imbalances, market access, and alleged Chinese abuses of intellectual property. While USA imposed tariffs worth $250 billion on China since July this year, China has imposed tariffs worth $110 billion on goods imported from USA.

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