Washington, March 20 (IANS) Negotiators for the US and China have scheduled a new round of high-level trade talks in Beijing and Washington, aiming to close a deal by late April to end the year-long dispute between the worlds two largest economies.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to fly to Beijing next week to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, The Wall Street Journal quoted Trump administration officials as saying.
The following week, a Chinese delegation led by Liu is expected to continue talks in Washington, the officials said.
People tracking the negotiations said the talks appear to be in their final stages, following a rocky patch after Chinese leaders were unnerved by US President Donald Trump’s decision to abruptly break off nuclear disarmament talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February.
“We’re in the endgame,” said Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce.
If the two sides continue to make progress, he said, they should be able to finish a trade deal by the end of April.
The two sides are aiming for a package deal that includes substantial increases in US exports to China, and Chinese pledges to boost protection of intellectual property, end pressure on US companies to transfer technology to their Chinese partners and reduce subsidies for Chinese firms.
Failure to achieve a deal would likely see the US more than double the 10 per cent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods and impose fresh tariffs, the BBC reported.
Trump has in the past threatened to tax all the Chinese goods going into the US.
The US has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated with duties on $110 billion of US products.
The trade war has cast a shadow over global trade and is contributing to a slowdown in the world economy.