BEIJING (Reuters) - A U.S. trade delegation in China has been having very good conversations, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday, as he headed into the second and likely last day of talks in Beijing.
A breakthrough deal to fundamentally change China’s economic policies is viewed as highly unlikely during the two-day visit, though a package of short-term Chinese measures could delay a U.S. decision to impose tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese exports.
The discussions, led by Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, are expected to cover a wide range of U.S. complaints about China’s trade practices, from accusations of forced technology transfers to state subsidies for technology development.
“We are having very good conversations,” Mnuchin told reporters as he left his hotel. He made no other remarks.
China, which has threatened retaliation in equal measure, including tariffs on U.S. soybeans and aircraft, has so far given no comment on how the talks are going.
“I understand the talks are still ongoing,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday, when asked if there were any outcomes from the trade talks.
“At the moment I have no specific information to provide,” she said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.
The official China Daily newspaper said in a Friday editorial that the brewing tensions between the two countries underscored how “niggly” differences had become and “how difficult it will be for the two sides to walk away happy”.
It added “fingers would be crossed” around the world that a deal could be stuck because “failure would herald a slug fest of tariffs that would leave global trade reeling”.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the