Much to be done on China trade: US Trade Rep Lighthizer

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (L) takes part in US-China trade talks with China’s Vice Premier Liu He (R) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on February 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. – Top Chinese and US trade officials returned to the bargaining table Thursday as the two sides worked to bridge a chasm between the world’s two largest economies. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Washington’s chief trade negotiator on Wednesday said there remained much to do before reaching a new trade agreement with China despite “real progress” so far.

After months of negotiating with Beijing, “now we are making real progress,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in congressional testimony.

However, “Much still needs to be done both before an agreement is reached, and more importantly after it is reached if one is reached.”

Citing progress toward a new trade agreement with Beijing, President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would postpone a sharp increase in US duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports while the two sides worked to reach an agreement.

Along with Japanese and European officials, the United States accuses China of entrenched unfair trade practices, including massive state intervention in markets, subsidies and the theft of foreign technology.

Chinese officials have offered to increase purchases of American farm goods and energy exports but it remains unclear whether Beijing will give in to US demands for fundamental changes in industrial policy, which analysts say could weaken the communist party’s power.


© Agence France-Presse