Business

US, China president resume trade talks

Top US and Chinese trade officials return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, with extra tension in the atmosphere amid Washington´s sweeping prosecution of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
The world´s two largest economies are battling for nothing less than future dominance in critical high-tech industries, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the lead US negotiator.
A little over three years ago, Beijing launched a strategic plan dubbed “Made in China 2025” that aimed to make the nation the global leader in aerospace, robotics, artificial intelligence, new-generation autos and other areas — sectors US officials say now represent the “crown jewels” of American technology and innovation.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he favors a healthy Chinese economy but not at the expense of American business and know-how.
In specific, US officials are attacking Chinese trade practices they say are unfair, spotlighting the forced transfer of American technology through requirements that foreign companies form joint ventures with local firms, as well as the alleged theft of American intellectual property through hacking.
To pressure Beijing, the White House has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports.
And Trump is poised to more than double US duty rates on $200 billion in goods from China to 25 percent on March 2 should the talks fail.
Beijing has responded by slapping duties on virtually every product it buys from the United States, or about $110 billion in exports.
Given the complexity of issues, a finished agreement is unlikely to emerge from the two days of talks in Washington this week.
But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he expected “significant progress,” and noted the governments have another month left in the 90-day truce declared in December.