US-China trade talks to continue next week by video link

President Trump meets China's Liu He (second from left) in the Oval Office at the White House.
President Trump meets China's Liu He (second from left) in the Oval Office at the White House.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US and Chinese trade negotiators will continue their talks next week by video conference as they try to reach a deal to resolve a nine-month-old trade war, White House adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday (April 5).

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He was meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a third straight day on Friday after US President Donald Trump hailed progress in the talks and said a deal could be announced in the next four weeks.

Kudlow, speaking on Bloomberg Television, said Liu was due back in Beijing after Friday's talks but the two sides would press ahead to resolve remaining differences by video link.

"There's no let up here, this is an ongoing process," Kudlow said.

The United States is seeking reforms to Chinese practices that it says result in the theft of US intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology from US companies to Chinese firms.

Washington also has demanded that Beijing curb industrial subsidies and open its economy wider to US companies and that it increase purchases of US goods including farm and energy commodities to shrink the gaping US trade deficit with China.

"We are making headway in a lot of areas. That includes enforcement, that includes IP (intellectual property) theft, that includes forced technology transfers, ownership, cyberspace, commodities and all the rest of it," Kudlow said.

"Those are of course in the middle of the negotiations that are ongoing but we've come further and farther than ever before."

On Thursday, Lighthizer, who is leading the talks for the Trump administration, said there were still some "major, major issues" to resolve.

"Lighthizer serves as the best north star of where the negotiations really stand," said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Lighthizer "said there are still many areas of differences that need to be addressed, so I think most of the other rosier or more pessimistic are less dependable," he added.