Top U.S., Chinese Trade Negotiators Decide on Next Step in Call
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
China’s Vice Premier Liu He and his American counterparts decided on arrangements for the next stage of trade talks, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Liu, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also held specific negotiations over critical issues about the wording of an agreement in the phone call this morning, Xinhua said, without giving further details.
Negotiators from both sides have been in close contact in recent weeks as markets await confirmation of a face-to-face meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to seal a deal. Trump has said he’ll need to meet Xi to conclude any agreement, though White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier that no date has been set.
Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, a member of the Chinese trade delegation, said on Saturday he "feels hopeful" about the prospects for the negotiations, while stressing that the enforcement mechanism should be "two way, fair and equal." Wang said talks have made substantial progress, but didn’t respond to a question on whether he expects a deal can be signed this month.
The two sides have reached consensus on many important issues, according to China’s central bank governor Yi Gang, who’s a member of the negotiating team. The have also had discussions on China’s currency, he said on Sunday in Beijing.