China and U.S. Fail to Come to Agreement on Trade

China and the United States on Wednesday could not reach an agreement on major steps to lower the trade deficit in the U.S. with China, which has cast doubt over the security and economic relations of President Trump with Beijing.

The annual dialogue session involving economics in Washington ended with news conferences being canceled, no statement from the two countries and no announcement on the market access for the U.S. to China.

Both sides spoke frankly but did not reach an agreement on the major bilateral economic and trade issues important to the U.S., a senior official from the U.S. said.

These issues included demands by the U.S. for access to the financial services industry in China, reducing excess steel capacity by China, reductions in tariffs on autos, cutting subsidies for businesses that are state-owned, ending requirements by China for localization of data and lifting caps on ownership for foreign companies in China, the official added.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a joint statement said that China had acknowledged the shared objective to lower the trade deficit with both sides working cooperatively to reach the goal.

In Washington, the Chinese embassy gave a positive cast on the talks saying via a prepared statement that both nations acknowledged there was significant progress on the talks of 100 days and would work to reduce the current trade deficit together.

Both sides will expand their areas of cooperation for service and will increase trade services, expand their mutual investment, and create a more open, transparent, convenient and equitable investment environment said the embassy.

Both sides have agreed that one solution in addressing the imbalance of trade if for the U.S. to increase its exports into China, rather than lowering China’s imports into the U.S.

To address that imbalance, China has urged the U.S. to remove the regulations on controls for export and to increase exports of products that are high-tech into China, said the official news agency Xinhua citing a Chinese official.

China is pushing for this in an action plan of one year for economic cooperation which was discussed by both sides, said the news agency.

This session was billed as the follow up to the first meeting Trump had with China’s President Ki Jinping in Florida at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate last April, when Trump hailed the cooperation of Xi in curbing the North Korea threat.