China and America Begin Talks Over Trade Dispute

China and the United States started vice ministerial-level talks in Beijing on Monday, with their ongoing trade dispute having rattled global stock markets and blurred the outlook for the world economy.


The governments of the world’s two biggest economies are expected to talk for two days through Tuesday about how to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and boost China’s imports of U.S. products, sources close to the matter said.


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It is the first time Beijing and Washington have had direct dialogue on trade since Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump held a meeting on Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires.


At their summit, Xi and Trump made an agreement that the United States and China will hold off on imposing further tariffs on each others imports and try to complete talks on many trading issues within 90 days.


A delegation led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeff Gerrish, who is the deputy chief of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, visited the Chinese Commerce Ministry on Monday morning.


With trade tensions between the two powers escalating, stock prices have faced downward pressure across the globe and fears have grown that weakness in the Chinese and U.S. economies could deal a heavy blow to the world economy.


But skepticism is rife about whether China and the United States can make concessions as they have been not only engaged in a tit-for-tat tariff trade war but are also at odds over security matters such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.


The United States has so far imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports, with Trump calling on Beijing to reduce its massive trade surplus with the United States and rectify the countrys alleged unfair business practices.


In retaliation, China has levied tariffs on more than 80 percent of all U.S. imports.


Reference: China, U.S. begin vice ministerial-level talks over trade dispute


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