US and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough as their trade war escalated with activation of another round of dueling tariffs, Reuters reports.
“We concluded two days of discussions with counterparts from China and exchanged views on how to achieve fairness, balance, and reciprocity in the economic relationship,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters was quoted as saying in a brief emailed statement.
The discussions included “addressing structural issues in China,” including its intellectual property and technology transfer policies, Walters said.
The mid-level Trump administration officials participating in the talks will brief the heads of their agencies on the discussions, she added.
Implementation of the latest 25 percent tariffs Thursday on US$16 billion worth of each other’s goods did not derail the talks, which were led by US Treasury Under Secretary David Malpass and Chinese Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen.
They were the first face-to-face US-China meetings since early June to try to find a way out of a deepening trade conflict and escalating tariffs, Reuters noted.
Earlier, a senior Trump administration official downplayed chances for success, saying China had yet to address US complaints about alleged misappropriation of American intellectual property and industrial subsidies.
“In order for us to get a positive result out of these engagements, it’s really critical that they (China) address the fundamental concerns that we have raised,” the official said on a press call on the new US security review law for foreign acquisitions.
“We haven’t seen that yet, but we are going to continue to encourage them to address problems that we have raised.”
China’s Commerce Ministry said in Beijing that it has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the latest round of US tariffs.
The two countries have now targeted US$50 billion of each other’s goods and threatened duties on most of the rest of their bilateral trade, raising concerns that the conflict could dent global growth.
Beijing has denied US allegations that it systematically forces the unfair transfer of US technology, and has said it adheres to WTO rules.
“We hope that the US side can meet China halfway, and with a rational, pragmatic attitude, conscientiously with China get a good result,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in Beijing during a daily news briefing.
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