Barriers in US-China trade ties

(VOVWORLD) - US and Chinese officials began high-level talks in Washington on Wednesday to try to solve their differences over trade policies. During the two-day meeting, two sides will discuss several thorny topics.

This has been the highest-level meeting between the US and China since President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day trade truce last December. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are leading the two delegations.

Deadline is near

Without any solution to end the current trade war, the US will impose tariffs of 25% on 200 billion USD worth of Chinese goods.

The US has accused Chinese cyber agents of stealing trade secrets and attempting to acquire US technology firms, citing these acts as its reasons for imposing tariffs. President Trump has said the US will raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% in March unless the two sides reach an agreement.

China has denied the US’s accusation. It says that under the Chinese trade policy, foreign companies are required to transfer technology and reduction of car tax and revisions of its investment laws aim to improve foreign companies’ access. A revision of China’s Investment Law has been approved by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The draft law includes a ban on mandatory technology transfer from foreign companies.

Obstacles remain  

While no progress has been seen so far, the US has submitted to the World Trade Organization 70 questions concerning China’s subsidy programs for fishing and government funds to support the development of technology, roboting, bio-technology, and clean energy.

On Monday, US officials accused Huawei and its CFO Meng Wan Zhou and two Huawei’s affiliate companies of violating US sanctions on Iran. The US Justice Department says Huawei defrauded an international bank and US officials in connection with using Skycom Tech and Huawei Device USA to conduct improper transactions in Iran. The Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded that the US stop its baseless harassment of Chinese entities like Huawei and Meng Wanzhou and vowed to protect legitimate rights of Chinese companies.

At a hearing on foreign threats held by the US Senate’s Intelligence Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the US has economic espionage investigations in every one of its 56 field offices. Not all of them, but almost all of them lead back to China.