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Trade talks expected to ease frictions

By ZHAO HUANXIN, Jing Shuiyu, ZHONG NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-25 04:33 菲律宾申博太阳城官网
US President Donald Trump meets Vice-Premier Liu He (second left, front row) and answers media questions in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on Friday. [Xinhua/Liu Jie]

Experts see extended negotiations as promising sign for win-win solution

As the latest round of high-level bilateral trade talks has been extended by another two days until Sunday in Washington, it is highly anticipated that one of the most contentious bilateral commercial disputes in recent memory will soon be amicably resolved, and mutually beneficial free trade will become the norm, according to analysts and former officials.

Zhang Yansheng, a senior researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China and the United States are likely to reach a trade deal on several key trade issues, while shelving some of the stickiest problems for future talks.

The extension of the talks is an encouraging sign, and it will give senior officials more time to discuss and reach consensuses on trade issues to help companies from both nations, said Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce.

Wei added that the trade dispute has "psychological effects", especially on global stock markets, investment and shipping activities, and the effects have already impacted the real economy.

Both countries realize that if they do not avoid an escalation of trade frictions, it will further damage the global economy. China's consistent position has shown it wants to resolve those issues, he said.

David Dollar, senior fellow of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, said it is a positive sign that the two sides have extended talks in Washington and are discussing a future summit between the two heads of state.

"Probably the two sides will reach a compromise," he said.

US President Donald Trump has said that he expected to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping soon to finalize a trade deal between the world's top largest economies.

Noting that great progress has been made in the talks, Trump said, "Ultimately, we'll have a meeting with myself and President Xi to discuss the final terms and things that haven't been agreed to."

Trump made the remarks in his meeting with Xi's special envoy, Vice-Premier Liu He, in the White House. Liu is leading a Chinese delegation to attend the seventh round of high-level economic and trade talks that started on Thursday.

The summit, he said, would probably happen at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, sometime later next month.

But neither the White House nor Beijing has confirmed such a plan.

Negotiators headed by Liu and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are striving to beat a 90-day deadline on tariffs that ends on March 1.

In a message delivered to Trump by Liu, Xi said that he hoped the two nations would redouble their efforts so as to meet each other halfway and reach an agreement that works for mutual benefit.

Trump said at Friday's meeting, "I think we have a very good chance of making a deal," adding both parties want to make any deal "meaningful" and "good for both countries".

Gong Jiong, an economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics, said Chinese companies are welcomed by local governments in the US because they can generate jobs, tax revenue and infrastructure facilities.

"In fact, many Southern states have really attractive investment environments where the return of manufacturing is taking place," he said.

He said Sino-US economic and trade ties are deeply intertwined. In addition to US investment to China, there is great potential for Chinese companies to invest in the US, especially in the manufacturing sector.

Contact the writers at jingshuiyu@chinadaily.com.cn

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