China’s trade negotiations with the US remain on track, Beijing said, offering official reassurance after tensions flared between the world’s two biggest economies, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The negotiating teams from both sides have maintained close communications, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, though it didn’t provide details on progress. “If China and the US strike a phase-one deal, relevant tariffs should be reduced,” said Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, referring to a proposed interim agreement the two sides are trying to reach.
During the past few days, though, officials in the US have become less optimistic about a deal. The two nations remain at odds over the value of US farm goods Beijing would buy, with President Trump looking for $40 billion to $50 billion a year within two years—an enormous increase from the $8.6 billion last year.
The Trump administration wants Beijing to publicly state its purchasing plans and not condition them on market circumstances or China’s trade obligations, said SCMP sources. Beijing is reluctant to make that pledge because it might have to divert purchases from other trading partners that are likely to object.