China, US resume trade talks over telephone

Beijing, May 27 (EFE).- Representatives of China and the United States held a telephone conversation on Thursday in a bid to develop bilateral trade, which has been stalled since 2018 due to a trade dispute started by former US President Donald Trump.

This is the first time that Beijing and Washington have officially addressed trade issues between the two countries since Joe Biden was inaugurated as president of the United States in January.

China’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, spoke with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reported in a brief statement posted on its website on Thursday.

The ministry said that both parties held pragmatic and constructive talks with an attitude of mutual respect.

China and the US admitted the importance of developing bilateral trade, exchanged views on matters of mutual interests and agreed to continue to maintain contact, the statement added.

The US also issued a brief statement on what it described as “an introductory virtual meeting” between the officials “to discuss the importance of the trade relationship between the United States and China.”

Tai discussed the “guiding principles” of the current US administration focused on “worker-centered trade policy” as well as her “ongoing review of the US-China trade relationship, while also raising issues of concern,” the statement added.

In March, Tai had announced that Washington was not planning to lift the tariffs imposed on Chinese products during the Trump administration in the short term.

Trump imposed annual tariffs on about $370 million dollars worth of Chinese goods – roughly two-thirds of all US imports from China -, to which Beijing retaliated with its own tariffs on US imports.

The relationship between China and the US began to deteriorate in March 2018 with the start of the trade dispute and the subsequent imposition of tariffs by both countries, which later led to diplomatic rows and technology standoffs.

In January 2020, the two countries signed a partial trade agreement that they promised to review every six months, although the last time they did so was in August. EFE


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