US and Chinese officials are engaged in high-level talks in Washington to outline potential ways to end the countries’ ongoing trade dispute before the expiration of a 90-day truce that was agreed upon by US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping expires on March 1, when the US will up its tariffs on $200 billion-worth of certain Chinese products from 10-to-25%.
Negotiations are edging towards six memorandums of understanding that touch upon forced technology transfers and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture, and non-tariff barriers to trade. The two sides are also negotiating an “enforcement mechanism.”
The negotiations also include a 10-item commodity list that China will be buying from the United States.
Washington also demands an end to a whole range of non-tariffs barriers including industrial subsidies, regulations, business licensing procedures, and product standards reviews.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is also pushing for access to China’s financial services, including credit card giants Visa and MasterCard.
Striking a conciliatory tone, Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to suggest that the US could ease its legal pressure on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei by saying he wanted to see the United States “win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.”
Huawei is a global leader in 5G mobile network technology. The US has been leading a global campaign to exclude the company from securing contracts abroad due to Huawei’s ties to China’s spy agency, which the US and other Western intelligence services say could be used for espionage purposes.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has argued that Washington will not be willing to share intelligence with countries that use Huawei telecommunications technology.
Both Deutsche Telecom and the UK’s Secret Services have recently argued that the threat can be mitigated with a proper counterintelligence strategy.