Top US trade official plans to meet Chinese counterpart


WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. trade negotiator said he will meet with his Chinese counterpart to discuss a trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies before a summit next week in Japan between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China.

Appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he plans to speak with the top Chinese negotiator by phone in the next day and a half. Then the two are expected to meet, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in Osaka ahead of the Trump-Xi summit at the Group of 20 meeting June 28-29.

Lighthizer did not name his counterpart. But Vice Premier Liu He has led the Chinese delegation in past talks.

Eleven rounds of talks have failed to resolve the differences between the world’s two biggest economies. The U.S. accuses China of using predatory tactics in an aggressive push to supplant American technological dominance. These, the U.S. says, include stealing trade secrets, forcing foreign firms to hand over technology and unfairly subsidizing Chinese tech firms.

China accuses the United States of trying to keep an emerging rival down. Beijing also is reluctant to scale back its aspirations to make Chinese companies world leaders in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous cars.

Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Found Dead After 'Devastating, Mind-Blowing' Discovery Next Door Brings Months-Long Search to an End

Trump has pointed to the U.S. trade deficit with China — a record $381 billion last year — as a sign that China is pursuing abusive trade practices. “We have a very unbalanced relationship with China, and we have one that risks literally the jobs of the future for America,” Lighthizer said Wednesday. “So, it’s very important that we get this relationship right.”

The United States has slapped 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. The Chinese have counterpunched by targeting $110 billion in U.S. products.

“From the very beginning, China made it clear that we do not want a trade war,” Wang Hejun, a senior official at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said on the Fox Business Network’s “After the Bell” program on Wednesday. “But China will give no ground on matters of principle.”

Until last month, it appeared that the two countries were edging slowly but steadily toward a deal. But then the U.S. accused China of reneging on commitments it had made in earlier rounds of talks. Negotiations stopped, and the Trump administration rolled out plans to tax another $300 billion in Chinese imports, extending the tariffs to everything China ships to the United States.

The threat of an escalation in the dispute has rocked financial markets and clouded prospects for the global economy. In seven days of hearings that began Monday, hundreds of businesses are urging Lighthizer’s office to rethink the plan to expand the China tariffs.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he’d spoken on the phone with Xi and that the two leaders would meet in Osaka. But it’s still unclear when the two countries’ negotiating teams will resume detailed talks.

“When actual negotiations begin again, I can’t say at this point,” Lighthizer said. “We’re talking. We’re going to meet.”


Darlene Superville contributed to this story.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City