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U.S. seeks to cut trade deficit with China in trade talks Updated: 2018-05-17 18:06:31 KST


The focus of the talks was on narrowing the trade deficit.
The U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sat down with its Chinese counterparts led by vice-premier Liu He to try and settle trade disputes.
At the meeting, the US demanded China reduce its trade surplus by 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
The U.S. also requested the Chinese government to discontinue support for "China Manufacturing 2025," China's blueprint for upgrading its manufacturing sector.
China seemed receptive to the U.S. demands.
The Chinese government is considering removing punitive tariffs on imported U.S. agriculture items.
It is also reviewing whether to ease non-tariff barriers like import quotas, government subsidies or customs delays.

(Chinese - )
"We hope to not see the escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions. Of course, we have made preparations for all outcomes."

Such moves come in response to President Trump's surprising decision to lift the ban on Chinese telecommunications firms doing business in the United States.

(Chinese - )
"We hope that the relevant departments of the U.S. side will take realistic actions quickly to resolve the (ZTE) case in a just and fair manner."

Adding to the positive outlook on the negotiations is the reduced role of hawkish White House trade adviser and harsh China critic Peter Navarro.
He is participating in the discussions at the negotiating table but is not officially on the U.S. representative list.
He was on the official delegation at the first round of trade talks in Beijing.
With China displaying a more agreeable posture and fewer hardliners in the US delegation, experts are predicting a more positive result from these trade negotiations than from the previous round in Beijing.
Choi Si-young, Arirang News.
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