The latest round of trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators ended in Shanghai Wednesday with an agreement to meet again in September in the U.S.
Although neither side immediately commented on the talks, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the talks were “frank, highly efficient and constructive.”
The news agency also reported negotiators discussed “the issue of China increasing its purchases of U.S. agricultural products, according to its domestic needs.”
U.S. and Chinese representatives held talks at a working dinner on Tuesday and less than a half day of negotiations on Wednesday before the U.S. delegation headed straight to the airport.
Shortly after U.S. negotiators arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned China against negotiating a deal after the 2020 U.S. presidential election — declaring a delayed agreement would be less attractive than a deal reached in the near term.
“The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.
…to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before. The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, telling reporters at a daily news briefing in Beijing “it doesn’t make any sense for the U.S. to exercise its campiagn of maximum pressure at this time.”
Hua also said “It’s pointless to tell others to take medication when you’re the one who sick.”
U.S. and Chinese officials gathered in Shanghai in an attempt to revive talks, with both sides trying to temper expectations for a breakthrough.
The world’s two largest economies are engaged in an intense trade war that has dragged on for more than a year, having imposed punitive tariffs on each other totaling more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
The Shanghai negotiations came after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at June’s G-20 summit to resurrect efforts to end the costly trade war over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.
China is resisting U.S. demands to abolish government-led plans for industrial leaders to enhance robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies.
The U.S. has complained China’s plans depend on the acquisition of foreign technology through theft or coercion.
Days prior to the Shanghai meeting, Trump threatened to withdraw recognition of China’s developing nation’s status at the World Trade Organization. China responded by saying the threat is indicative of the “arrogance and selfishness” of the U.S.
The U.S. delegation in Shanghai was represented by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They met with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, who serves as the country’s economic czar.
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